Turner entered Loch Coruisk from Scavaig River to the south (see folio 37 verso; D26509
), and seems, from the evidence of his sketches, to have immediately ascended Sgurr na Stri, a mountain to the east of the loch. The summit of the mountain offered the artist a position from which he could look down on the full length of the loch and the surrounding Cuillin Hills. However, the climb was treacherous, with a note in the illustrated edition of the Poetical Works
claiming that ‘but for one or two tufts of grass he must have broken his neck, having slipped when trying to attain the best position for taking the view’.2
Perhaps he was also helped by one of his fellow visitors to the loch. In his watercolour, Turner depicted himself sitting on the summit of a mountain, sketching the view alongside another figure, and there are further figures standing by the loch at the left. A sketch, perhaps made on his return from the loch, includes a small boat with three figures that must have been the one that transported him to the loch from Elgol (folio 69; D26572
). If Turner explored other parts of the loch no sketches have been identified to confirm it. He did, however, make views of Loch Scavaig (folio 12; D26458
) and the distant Isle of Rum (folio 34; D26502
) in addition to the Coruisk sketches from the shoulder of Sgurr na Stri.