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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 4 Verso:
Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock 1818
Turner Bequest CLXVII 4a
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 186 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘sand’ lower centre left; ‘sea’ lower centre; ?‘Rock’ bottom centre; ‘the Earth’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Made from the same position as the sketch on folio 4 (D13590; CLXVII 4), but here looking more to the north to include the Bass Rock, this is one of several sketches that include both Tantallon Castle and the island (see folio 3; D13589; CLXVII 3). On this occasion Turner has not drawn the castle in detail, just indicated its position with a faint outline. Bass Rock is carefully, but similarly lightly sketched. More attention is paid to the cliff edge which falls away perilously beneath the artist’s feet, leading down to the sandy bay beneath the castle.
A yellow stain has bled along the top edge of the page from the painted edges of this sketchbook.

Thomas Ardill
February 2007

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2007, 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-tantallon-castle-and-bass-rock-r1132139, accessed 21 May 2022.