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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Tantallon Castle 1818

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 5 Recto:
Tantallon Castle 1818
Turner Bequest CLXVII 5
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 186 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Light through’ top right
Inscribed in blue ink ‘5’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CLXVII 5’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With a similar viewpoint to folio 4 (D13590; CLXVII 4), though slightly further round to the north, this sketch again shows Tantallon Castle with the dovecot to the left. Turner’s note ‘light through’ may mean that the sky is evenly light throughout, to perhaps refers to being able to see light through the windows and holes in the ruins of the castle.
There is a brown watercolour stain at the right of the page, suggesting that Turner may have referred to the sketch while he was painting Tantallon Castle, 1821 (watercolour, Manchester City Art Galleries).1 The yellow mark along the top edge of the page has bled through from the painting of the sketchbook edges.

Thomas Ardill
February 2008

Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.426 no.1067.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Tantallon Castle 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-r1132140, accessed 26 January 2022.