About this artwork

Turner produced three views of Edinburgh for Sir Walter Scott’s 'Provincial Antiquities'. Here he focuses on the construction of Regent Bridge and Waterloo Place, at the foot of Calton Hill. This ambitious project to bridge the deep ravine at Low Calton resulted from a need to create a route to the large new city jail, shown in the left foreground. Evidence of continuing building work can be seen in the long mason’s shed to the east of Regent Bridge. The silhouettes of the Castle, St Giles’s Cathedral and the Tron Church are shown on the horizon, with the Pentland Hills in the distance beyond.

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  • title: Edinburgh from Calton Hill
  • accession number: D 5446
  • artist: Joseph Mallord William TurnerEnglish (1775 - 1851)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • medium: Watercolour
  • date created: About 1819
  • measurements: 16.80 x 24.90 cm (framed: 58.90 x 43.70 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased by Private Treaty via Christie's with support by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and with the assistance of the Art Fund 1998

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.