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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Views on The Sound of Mull: Salen and Tobermory 1831

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 49 Recto:
Views on The Sound of Mull: Salen and Tobermory 1831
Turner Bequest CCLXXIII 49
Pencil on white wove paper, 116 x 186 mm
Inscribed in pencil by Turner ‘Salen’ top right, ‘Tobermory’ upper centre left, ‘5 3 1’ centre left
Inscribed in blue ink by John Ruskin ‘49’ top left running vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXIII 49’ top right running vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
These sketches of coastlines of the Sound of Mull are identifiable by Turner’s inscriptions. The top sketch carries the note ‘Salen’ at the top right, indicating the Mull village half way up with Sound, and telling us that this is a view looking south-east down the Sound of Mull. There is another view towards Salen on the reverse of this page (folio 49 verso; D26837). At the left is a small island which must be Eileanan Glasa.
Beneath is a sketch inscribed ‘Tobermory’, and although the village is not visible, Turner added the note to indicate that this was the direction he was facing when he made this sketch. It therefore shows a view north up the Sound of Mull from near Salen. The low island between two headlands is Calve Island opposite Tobermory Bay.
The sketch at the bottom of the page shows three headlands inscribed ‘5’, ‘3’ and ‘1’. The shore is perhaps too mountainous to be Mull from the north-west, so it is more likely to be Morvern from the south-east. Turner’s numbers may stand for different degrees of tone, perhaps indicating that the furthest headland is in deeper shadow.

Thomas Ardill
March 2010

How to cite

Thomas Ardill, ‘Views on The Sound of Mull: Salen and Tobermory 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-views-on-the-sound-of-mull-salen-and-tobermory-r1135193, accessed 22 May 2022.