J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Looking Across Loch Ness Towards Urquhart Castle from Foyers Bay 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 29 Verso:
Looking Across Loch Ness Towards Urquhart Castle from Foyers Bay 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXXVI 29a
Pencil on off-white laid writing paper, 179 x 150 mm irregular
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Urquart Cas’ upper centre
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inscribed ‘Urqu[h]art Cas[tle]’ by Turner (not ‘Bit Giant’s Causeway’ as Finberg read it),1 this small sketch shows a view north across Loch Ness from Foyers Bay, in the direction of Urquhart Castle on the opposite western shore of the loch.2 Turner was steaming north up Loch Ness on a boat bound for Inverness, and had come ashore at Foyers Bay as part of a scheduled stop to see the Falls of Foyers (see folio 40 verso; D27034). Although the castle is not depicted in this sketch (and may not have been visible from this point), Turner would have known its location from the Steamboat Companion which provided a short history of the castle, advising steamboat passengers to look out for it on the western shore after embarking at Foyers.3 As his boat passed the castle, Turner made a number of careful studies of the ruins from different angles (see folio 19; D26998). There are two further views from Foyers Bay on folio 27 (D27014).

Thomas Ardill
April 2010

Finberg 1909, II, 881.
David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s 1831 Sketchbook T.B. CCLXXVI Fort Augustus’, [circa 1992–3], Tate catalogue files, [unpaginated].
James Lumsden and Son, Lumsden and Son’s Steamboat Companion; or Stranger’s Guide to the Western Isles and Highlands of Scotland, Glasgow 1839, p.162.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Looking Across Loch Ness Towards Urquhart Castle from Foyers Bay 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, April 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-looking-across-loch-ness-towards-urquhart-castle-from-foyers-r1135382, accessed 30 May 2020.