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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 3 Recto:
Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock 1818
Turner Bequest CLXVII 3
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 186 mm
Inscribed in blue ink ‘3’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CLXVII 3’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Both Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock were subjects commissioned by Walter Scott and his publisher Robert Cadell to illustrate the Provincial Antiquities publication (see 1818 Tour Introduction), and here they are shown together in a single view. The sketch therefore indicates the proximity of the castle and island, and gives an idea of their relative scale. Turner made several further sketches of the two subjects together in this sketchbook (folios 4 verso, 5 verso–6 and 8; D13591, D13593–D13594, D13597; CLXVII 4a, 5a, 6, 8), as well as exploring both from different points of view in dozens of sketches in all three Scottish sketchbooks of 1818.

Thomas Ardill
February 2008

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Tantallon Castle and the Bass Rock 1818 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 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-tantallon-castle-and-the-bass-rock-r1132137, accessed 21 May 2022.