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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Tobermory Rooftops; and Sketches Made on Loch Linnhe 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
Tobermory Rooftops; and Sketches Made on Loch Linnhe 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 186 mm
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘1’ top left running vertically’
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXIII 1’ top right running vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
At the top of the page is a sketch which looks down over rooftops to the left and up to houses on the right. This is a very rough sketch of the view drawn on the reverse of the page (folio 1 verso; D26749) which is a view of Tobermory Bay from the hill above the Main Street. The bay itself is not shown in the present sketch.
Turner used the remaining space on the page on several occasions after making the drawing of Tobermory. Above the Tobermory sketch to the left is a rough sketch which may be inscribed ‘Isle Coll’, and which therefore may be of the Isle of Coll which lies to the east of Mull. If this is correct Turner would have made the sketch during his visit to Staffa.
Other sketches, drawn with the book inverted, have been identified by David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan as (at the fore-edge of the page) a view looking south down Loch Linnhe towards the distant tower of Castle Stalker, with Shuna island to its right. Across the middle of the page the sketch has been identified as another view from Loch Linnhe, this time looking towards the coast of Appin with the outline of Ben Cruachan.1 The sketch in between these two must be of the Appin Coast, looking north up Loch Linnhe. Turner steamed up Loch Linnhe on his way to Inverness via Fort William and Fort Augustus (see folio 39 verso; D26816).

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

David Wallace-Hadrill and Janet Carolan, ‘Turner’s Journey from Oban to Inverness, 1831’, [circa 1991], Tate catalogue files, [folios 1, 12].

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Tobermory Rooftops; and Sketches Made on Loch Linnhe 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2010, 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-tobermory-rooftops-and-sketches-made-on-loch-linnhe-r1135106, accessed 26 January 2022.