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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Shipping at Leith 1822

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 70 Verso:
Shipping at Leith 1822
Turner Bequest CC 70a
Pencil on white wove paper, 187 x 114 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Leith Martello’ top right
Blindstamped with the Turner Bequest stamp upper right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the sketchbook turned to the right are three sketches of shipping at Leith Roads. Although Turner has employed highly economic shorthand it is possible to make out certain topographical features behind the dozens of masts and spars.
In the centre of the top sketch are the outlines of Arthur’s Seat and Calton Hill, familiar from sketches such as folio 11 (D17528). Beneath this, step-shapes in the background represent Edinburgh Castle and a small dark shape near the water is labelled ‘Leith Martello’ tower, another feature familiar from various other drawings in this sketchbook (for example folio 53 verso; D17598). These features suggest that the second sketch in fact continues from the right side of the top sketch, suggesting in turn that the bottom sketch is a continuation from the middle one and therefore looks towards Granton Harbour.

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Shipping at Leith 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-r1132971, accessed 18 May 2022.