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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Tummel Bridge sketchbook 1801

Turner Bequest LVII 1–69
Sketchbook bound in boards covered in calf leather with gilt–tooled edges and spine, and one brass clasp
64 leaves of white cartridge paper prepared with pale grey or purple washes, and 4 flyleaves of white laid paper (folios 1, 2, 67 and 68); page size 149 x 118 mm; watermark on laid paper: unidentified monogram
Blind–stamped with Turner Bequest monogram on front cover, top left
Numbered 234 as part of the Turner Schedule in 1854 and endorsed by the Executors of the Turner Bequest inside front cover (D40639)
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketchbook was misnamed ‘Tummel Bridge’ by Finberg, on account of John Ruskin’s misidentification of two of the ‘Scottish Pencils’ (Tate D03420, D03421; Turner Bequest LVIII 41, 42), which clearly show the same subject as drawings on folios 23 verso–26 recto (D03322–D03327). They were identified as Killin by the present author in 1987. There are no views of Tummel Bridge here, though there are three among the ‘Scottish Pencils’: Tate D41441 (verso of Turner Bequest LVIII 38), D03418 and D03419; Turner Bequest LVIII 39, 40).
Although Finberg was not aware of the mistake when the Inventory was published, he later annotated his copy ‘not Tummel Bridge’;1 Henry Crawford, however, repeats the error.2 This is one of nine books taken by Turner to Scotland in 1801; the others are Helmsley, Chester, Dunbar, Edinburgh, Scotch Lakes and Scotch Figures books (Tate; Turner Bequest LIII, LXXXII, LIV, LV, LVI, LIX), and the Smaller Fonthill book (Tate; Turner Bequest XLVIII) which was disbound at an early date; its Scottish drawings are scattered in various collections. A small book, Guisborough Shore (Tate; Turner Bequest LII), was in his luggage but used only in Northumberland.
The present sketchbook was used on only part of Turner’s Highland tour; Finberg proposed a section ‘probably between Arrochar & Inverary’,3 but later realised that the drawing on folios 3 verso–4 recto (D03282–D03283) shows the old military road along the shore of Loch Lomond.4 But the views are more difficult to recognise than those in the Scotch Lakes book, and indeed the Killin subjects are among the few to have been securely identified, though several were to become the bases for elaboration as ‘Scottish Pencils’ sheets (Tate; Turner Bequest LVIII).
Finberg noted a paper label ‘on back [i.e. the spine, inscribed] by Turner – “31 Scotland”’,5 which has since been lost.
Undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, opposite p.150.
See Crawford 1936, p.15.
Undated MS note by Finberg in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, opposite p.151.
Undated MS note by Finberg, ibid., p.151.
Finberg 1909, I, p.150.

Andrew Wilton
May 2013

Revised by Matthew Imms
April 2015

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How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Tummel Bridge sketchbook 1801’, sketchbook, May 2013, revised by Matthew Imms, April 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/tummel-bridge-sketchbook-r1179473, accessed 29 February 2020.