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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Island of Inchkeith 1822

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 10 Verso:
The Island of Inchkeith 1822
Turner Bequest CC 10a
Pencil on white wove paper, 187 x 114 mm
Blindstamped with the Turner Bequest stamp centre right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Rather than a ‘rocky coast’ as Finberg and subsequent scholars have described it,1 this sketch made with the book turned to the right may in fact be of an island. The shape of the island and the appearance of the lighthouse match Inchkeith near Leith, and considering how many sketches Turner made of Leith from Leith Roads (see King’s Visit to Scotland 1822 Introduction) it is not surprising that he turned north to make at least one sketch of the island and the north, Fife shore beyond it.
The sketch beneath may show the Fife shore of the Firth of Forth near Burntisland, with what may perhaps be the Binn hill as in folio 35 verso (D17563).
There are signs of damage and repair at the top right of the page.

Thomas Ardill
September 2008

Finberg 1909, I, p.610, CC 10a; Finley 1981, pp.82, [108].

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘The Island of Inchkeith 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-the-island-of-inchkeith-r1132868, accessed 29 May 2024.