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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sketches of Distant Hills 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 63 Verso:
Sketches of Distant Hills 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXX 63a
Pencil on white wove paper, 125 x 201 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Calenr’ top, ?‘Dunard Hil’ bottom left inverted, ‘n[...]’ ?‘Campsie Fels’ bottom inverted, ?‘m’ bottom right inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg was the first to read the inscription drawn along the fore-edge of this page as ‘Calenr’, referring to the town of Callander near Stirling in Perthshire.1 Henry Crawford then considered the inscription, suggesting that the sketch could be a view from Callander, but not of Callander.2 David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan got no further in their study of the sketch.3 The hill directly beneath the inscription does bear a slight resemblance to Ben Ledi, and could therefore be a view from around Callander Bridge with the River Teith in the foreground. However, the match is not perfect and there is no further topographical or architectural evidence to suggest that Turner visited Callander in 1831. He did, however, go there in 1834: see the Loch Ard sketchbook (Tate D26667–D26747 complete; Turner Bequest CCLXXII, especially Tate D26744; Turner Bequest CCLXXII 39a), so it is possible that this is one of a handful of sketches in this book that it has been suggested Turner could have made in 1834 (see Stirling and West sketchbook Introduction). Alternatively, this may be a view towards Callander from near Stirling.

Across the bottom half of the page, drawn with the sketchbook inverted, is another view inscribed with several notes. The word above the sketch at the centre may read ‘Campsie Fells’, a range of hills to the south-west of Stirling that Turner sketched from near Stirling Castle (see folio 13 verso; D26461). There are further hill outlines on folios 63 and 64 (D26560, D26562). The other inscriptions on the present page are indecipherable and no further suggested identifications have been made for this sketch.

Thomas Ardill
June 2010

Finberg 1909, II, p.870.
Crawford 1936, p.24.
Wallace-Hadrill and Carolan 1990, p.27.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Sketches of Distant Hills 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-sketches-of-distant-hills-r1134995, accessed 25 February 2021.