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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sketches of Dunblane Cathedral and Doune Castle 1834

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 59 Recto:
Sketches of Dunblane Cathedral and Doune Castle 1834
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 59
Pencil on off-white wove paper, 113 x 190 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘[...] | wood’ top centre left, ‘corn’ upper centre, ‘D’ centre, ‘Road’ lower centre left running vertically, ‘corn’ bottom centre left running vertically
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘59’ top right and ‘340’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIX 59’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains sketches that record Turner’s journey between Dunblane and Doune. The first sketch, drawn at the left of the page with the book turned to the right, concludes a series of sketches begun on folio 58 verso (D26370) of Dunblane Cathedral as seen from the Allan Water to the south. Turner was now some distance from Dunblane on his way west to Doune and only the bell tower of the cathedral can be seen near the centre of the sketch. The ‘Road’ on which he had been travelling is shown in the foreground in the centre with a figure standing with his back to us on the right bank. To the right of this is a field of ‘corn’. The hills in the distance are the Ochils. For more information about Turner’s visit to Dunblane, see folio 57 (D26367).
Having completed this sketch he continued west and soon arrive at Doune Castle (see folio 52 verso; D26358). Making two sketches from the north, the first, the larger sketch at the centre of the page, depicts the castle building in some detail as well as the bank on which is stands and what are presumably the Touch Hills in the distance. The smaller sketch to the right, drawn with the book turned to the left, depicts the castle framed by trees on either side and is more of a composition study.
Having made these sketches of the castle Turner walked west a little way along the River Teith to make the sketch at the top of the page in which the castle is shows as a dark silhouette with a ‘wood’ (presumably the Wood of Doune) to the left. In the middle distance at the right is a tower, perhaps of Dunblane Cathedral, and in the distance to the east are the Ochil Hills.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Sketches of Dunblane Cathedral and Doune Castle 1834 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 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-dunblane-cathedral-and-doune-castle-r1136301, accessed 21 January 2021.