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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Rocks 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 23 Recto:
Rocks 1818
Turner Bequest CLXV 23
Pencil on white laid paper, 99 x 159 mm
Stamped in black ‘CLXV 23’ bottom left descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg describes this as a drawing of ‘Islands’,1 and while it is plausible to suggest the shape of, for example the Island of Fidra off the coast of North Berwick, the shape of the objects are surely too jagged for islands. Rather these are probably just some of the many rocks or crags off the coast somewhere between North Berwick and Dunbar. Turner drew similar rocks on the previous sketchbook page (folio 22 verso; D13362; CLXV 22a).

Thomas Ardill
October 2007

Finberg 1909, I, p.479, CLXV 23.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Rocks 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2007, 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-rocks-r1131905, accessed 25 January 2022.