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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Roslin Castle seen from the East, with the North Esk River 1801

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 39 Verso:
Roslin Castle seen from the East, with the North Esk River 1801
Turner Bequest LIV 39a
Pencil on white wove paper prepared with a mauve-pink ground, 115 x 164 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, this is one of a long sequence of drawings made at or near Roslin, as far as folio 49 verso (D02679). Turner was no doubt attracted by the many legends associated with the place, though at this point he had not begun to be involved with the novelist Walter Scott (1771–1832), for whose Provincial Antiquities of Scotland he made a watercolour of Roslin Castle in about 1820 (Indianapolis Museum of Art),1 which was engraved in 1822 (Tate impressions: T04493, T06062). This is sometimes incorrectly known as ‘Hawthornden’, a nearby castle which Turner may have recorded in some drawings in this book; see folios 41 verso–43 recto (D02664–D02667).
Many views of the ruins at Roslin accessible to Turner are no longer visible owing to a luxuriant growth of large trees in the Glen below the Chapel and Castle.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1065, reproduced.

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Roslin Castle seen from the East, with the North Esk River 1801 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-roslin-castle-seen-from-the-east-with-the-north-esk-river-r1178846, accessed 21 April 2021.