About this artwork

Chiefswood Cottage, on the Abbotsford Estate, was the summer house of Sir Walter Scott's daughter Charlotte Sophia and her husband, the writer and barrister, John Gibson Lockhart. Turner had made a pencil sketch of the scene on his visit to Abbotsford in 1831 and then worked on the vignette the following year shortly after Scott's death. The empty chair under the trees may allude to the departed author. His son in law Lockhart was to write a biography of Scott and the unoccupied writing desk in the sun may refer to this project. The engraved vignette was the title image for volume XVIII of Cadell's 'Works of Sir Walter Scott.'

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Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Turner transformed the art of landscape painting in Britain. From detailed topographical studies to expansive, atmospheric vistas his works celebrate the diversity and emotive power of nature. He was born in Covent Garden, the son of a barber, and exhibited his earliest sketches in his father's shop before studying at the Royal Academy Schools. Turner became the youngest ever full member of the Royal Academy in 1802. His experimental use of watercolour and oils achieved stunning effects, attracting contemporary criticism and praise. Turner's admiration of past masters, above all Claude Lorraine, and the numerous sketches made on many tours in Britain and abroad, provided the basis for his 'sublime' land and seascapes.