About this artwork

The Bell Rock Lighthouse, which is situated off the Angus coast south-west of Arbroath, is one of the greatest achievements of early nineteenth-century engineering. It was designed by Robert Stevenson and built between 1807 and 1811 on a partially submerged reef, using the latest and most revolutionary construction methods. In 1819, Stevenson commissioned Turner to design a frontispiece for his ‘Account of the Bell Rock Lighthouse’. This watercolour was the result. Turner never actually visited the lighthouse, and probably based his design on drawings. It was subsequently engraved for Stevenson’s account by John Horsburgh and published in 1824.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Bell Rock Lighthouse
  • date created:
    1819
  • materials:
    Watercolour and gouache with scratching out on paper
  • measurements:
    30.60 x 45.50 cm (framed: 59.40 x 72.10 x 5.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    Purchased by Private Treaty Sale 1989 with the aid of funds from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Pilgrim Trust
  • accession number:
    D 5181 A
  • gallery:
  • glossary:
Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? Tell us what you think.

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner