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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Shipping at Leith; and the Firth of Forth Near Barnbougle 1822

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 53 Recto:
Shipping at Leith; and the Firth of Forth Near Barnbougle 1822
Turner Bequest CC 53
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 187 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘2 w’ top right, ‘Rex [or ‘box’] near Barnbougle’ centre
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘53’ (very faint) bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CC 53’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains four sketches made on the Firth of Forth. Three contain shipping around Leith, including vessels of the George IV’s royal squadron, and one showing a view further up the river. The royal squadron at its station between Leith and the Island of Inchkeith is shown against the backdrop of Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill across the middle of the page (see King’s Visit to Edinburgh 1822 sketchbook Introduction for more information).
Two further sketches show part of the squadron. At the top left is one of the larger vessels at anchor with a boat at sail to the left and Arthur’s Seat in the background. The sketch continues very slightly onto folio 52 verso (D17596). Two of the yachts of the royal squadron – perhaps the Royal George (see folio 4; D17514) and the Royal Sovereign (see folio 52 verso) – are shown in a sketch at the top right with a smaller attending craft to the right of the nearer yacht.
At the bottom of the page is a view east along the Firth of Forth which has been identified by its inscription (which remains partly indecipherable) as showing a part of the southern bank near ‘Barnbougle’ Castle, although the castle itself may not be included. The island at the right may be Cramond. There is a similar view on folio 35 (D17562).

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Shipping at Leith; and the Firth of Forth Near Barnbougle 1822 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2008, 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-shipping-at-leith-and-the-firth-of-forth-near-barnbougle-r1132938, accessed 29 September 2020.