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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Skyline of Edinburgh from Leith 1822

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Recto:
Skyline of Edinburgh from Leith 1822
Turner Bequest CC 11
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 187 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ?‘Borough of the B[...]’
Inscribed in red ink by John Ruskin ‘11’ (very faint) bottom right
Blindstamped with the Turner Bequest stamp bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CC 11’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
From Leith Turner studied the Edinburgh skyline in three sketches across this page. The three sketches are in fact a continuous panorama with the sketch below continuing at the left from the right of the one above. Objects on the skyline are from left to right: Arthur’s Seat, Calton Hill, upon which are Nelson’s Monument and Calton Gaol, the Melville Monument, St Giles’s Cathedral, St Andrew’s Church, Edinburgh Castle, St George’s Church and the Pentland Hills continuing on to the bottom sketch. The significance of the inscription is not clear.
Edinburgh is also seen in the distance of sketches of Leith on the following folios 51 verso, 53, 54, 62, 62 verso, 63, and 77 (D17594, D17597, D17599, D17615, D17616, D17617, D17642). John Ruskin mentioned the ‘Many interesting outlines of Edinburgh’ in his endorsement on this sketchbook’s original wrapper.1 The statement probably refers to the sketches from Edinburgh Castle (see folio 36 verso; D17565) as well as these distant views.
John Ruskin, quoted in Finberg 1909, I, p.610.

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Skyline of Edinburgh from 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-skyline-of-edinburgh-from-leith-r1132869, accessed 29 May 2024.