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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View of Edinburgh, from the Stewart Monument 1834

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 79 Recto:
View of Edinburgh, from the Stewart Monument 1834
Turner Bequest CCLXIX 79
Pencil on off-white wove paper, 113 x 190 mm
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘79’ bottom left inverted and ‘340’ top left inverted
Stamped in black ‘CCLXIX 79’ top left inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Drawn with the sketchbook inverted over a double-page spread (continuing on folio 78 verso; D26409), this sketch depicts the view of Edinburgh from the western end of Calton Hill. Prominent in the foreground at the centre of the sketch is the Dugald Stewart Monument (not the Burns’ Monument as has previously been suggested).1 Also in the foreground, shaded in just behind the monument to the left, is the Governor’s House of Calton Gaol. Edinburgh Castle is prominent at the upper centre-right of the page with North Bridge below it and St Giles’s Cathedral and the Tron Kirk to the left. At the lower right of the page is the dome of the General Register House.
The sketch belongs to a series of similar views that show Turner experimenting with variant compositions: folios 76 verso–79 verso (D26405–D26411). Of these, the present sketch is perhaps the most successfully and fully developed composition. See folio 79 verso for more information.

Thomas Ardill
November 2010

Finberg 1909, II, p.867; Butlin, Wilton and Gage 1974, p.126 no.451.

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘View of Edinburgh, from the Stewart Monument 1834 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 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-view-of-edinburgh-from-the-stewart-monument-r1136340, accessed 15 January 2021.