- Museum number
Loch Katrine; view of the lake in a mountainous landscape, seen from a height, the lake in the right middle distance with wooded islands, figures in the foreground and along path on the left. c.1832
- Production date
- 1832 (circa)
Height: 96 millimetres
Width: 149 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The following is the entry from the catalogue, Kim Sloan, J M W Turner: Watercolours fromthe Lloyd Bequest', 1998:
Turner made his first long visit to Scotland in 1801 as the logical conclusion of his series of tours around Britain. He travelled there again late in 1818, commissioned by Sir Walter Scott to prepare designs for his 'Provincial Antiquities of Scotland' (1818-26). Ten watercolours and two vignettes were eventually used in the book and retained by Scott; eight hung in one frame in the breakfast room at Abbotsford. In 1831 Turner was persuaded by the Edinburgh publisher Robert Cadell to tour Scotland again in order to prepare illustrations for a complete edition of Scott's works. Turner had met Sir Walter in 1818 and the two men had not taken to each other, but in April 1831 Scott invited Turner to stay with him at Abbotsford. The artist, the author and the publisher spent several days in August exploring the nearby sites in the Vale of the Tweed which Scott hoped would illustrate specific poems, before Turner set off to sketch in the Borders and around Stirling and the Trossachs, going on to a blustery west coast as far north as Staffa.¹ After Turner left Abbotsford, Scott wrote to his son: "I think he will make a superb book of it if he is not as Burn[s] sa[y]s, "killd by highland bodies/And eaten like a weather haggis"."²
The drawing used for this watercolour of 'Loch Katrine' appears in the 'Stirling and the West' sketchbook (TB CCLXX 47), one of several Turner used on this tour and the viewpoint is somewhere along the north shore of the loch. When the artist, publisher and author had originally discussed which subjects would be most appropriate for which work, they had changed their minds several times about those for volume VIII, which was to be introduced by 'The Lady of the Lake'. In the end they settled on 'Loch Katrine' for the frontispiece and 'Loch Achray' (W 1085) for the vignette.³
Cadell's twelve-volume edition of Sir Walter Scott's 'Poetical Works' appeared in 1834 with twenty-four illustrations by Turner (a title-page vignette and frontispiece in each); the 'Prose Works' appeared between 1834 and 1836 with forty illustrations by him. He was paid 25 guineas for each of the first group, and most of them, including the present work, were purchased from Cadell by Munro of Novar. Like all the final watercolours made in preparation for this publication, Turner painted it in the size at which it was to be engraved. Undisturbed by distracting figures, the result is a jewellike vision filled with the royal blues of the lake and hills and the pinks and purples of the heather overlain by a smoky mist; magically repaying ever closer inspection, it is a visual poem no engraver could ever hope to recreate.
l. See Gerald Finley, pp. 103-42. Robin Campbell (3 1 2013), informs us that Scott may have quoted Burns incorrectly or Finlay has transcribed the letter incorrectly. The quote should be 'eaten by a wether haggis' is from Burns's 'Verses to Captain Grose'. A wether is a castrated ram - the word survives in ordinary English in the form 'bell-wether'. A wether haggis is presumably one made from the innards of a wether.
2. Quoted ibid., p. 123.
3. Ibid., p. 242.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1924, Agnew's, no.85
1934, RA, no.863
1975 BM, Turner in the BM, no.178
1998 May-Sept., BM, J.M.W.Turner: Lloyd Bequest, no.38
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Robert Cadell
Previous owner/ex-collection: Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (his sale Christie's 6.iv.1878/73, bt Agnew's, £336 (stock 4566))
Previous owner/ex-collection: Thomas Agnew & Sons (bt Mansel Lewis of Stradey, Llanelly, Carmarthenshire, £336 plus 10%)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Charles Mansel Lewis (bt Agnew's 31 May 1879 (stock 5116); bt C. Wheeley Lea, 7 June 1879, £369 12s)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Charles Wheeley Lea
Previous owner/ex-collection: Mrs Amy Mary Wheeley Lea (of Parkside, near Worcester, her sale Christie's 11.v.1917/39, bt Agnew's for Lloyd, £325 plus 5% commission £16 5s. 6d. (stock 8585))
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BEQUEST, NONE OF THE PRINTS OR DRAWINGS BEQUEATHED BY R. W. LLOYD MAY BE LENT OUTSIDE THE BRITISH MUSEUM (Registration Numbers 1958,0712.318 to 3149).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number