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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Queensferry, Firth of Forth 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
Queensferry, Firth of Forth 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXX 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 201 x 125 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘North QQfrry’ under the sketch
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘1’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXX – 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketch, continuing slightly at the left on the inside front cover of the sketchbook (D41082), has been identified as a view from North Queensferry across the Firth of Forth to South Queensferry near Edinburgh, with the island of Inchgarvie in between. David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan identified this sketch on the basis of Turner’s inscription – ‘North QQfrry’ – which they suggest is the artist’s shorthand for North Queensferry, the double-Q standing for the plural of Queen (though, as they point out, the ‘s’ in Queensferry is possessive not plural).1
The sketch is rather rough and the hills across the Forth appear to be too high for those beyond South Queensferry. Either Turner has exaggerated them or this is in fact a view of North Queensferry from the south.
The sketch precedes views of Dunfermline in this sketchbook, indicating that it was made when Turner crossed the Firth of Forth from Edinburgh on his way to Dunfermline.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, p.14.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Queensferry, Firth of Forth 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 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-queensferry-firth-of-forth-r1134870, accessed 28 January 2022.