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Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775 - 1851

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Joseph Mallord William Turner, 1775 - 1851 1819 - 1833

Not on display

  • Scottish Art
Turner is seen here probably in his mid to late forties, between his two journeys to Venice of 1819 and 1833. An informal study which borders on caricature, it shows him standing before an easel, clutching his palette and working on a canvas. It is difficult to date precisely: Allan may have met Turner during his visit to Scotland in 1818, and almost certainly saw him in 1822 and 1831. The inscription on this drawing states that Sir William Allan was President of the Royal Scottish Academy. The drawing belonged to the painter and pioneering photographer, David Octavius Hill.

Glossary Open


A portrait with the facial features exaggerated for comic or satirical effect.


Text written on a book, document or artwork. Examples include the added information such as edition number and date on a print, or a dedication written in a book.


A hand-held board on which a painter lays out and mixes the colours he or she is using. By extension it is used to describe the range of colours employed by an artist.

Royal Scottish Academy

The Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) was formed in Edinburgh in 1826 by Scottish artists who felt alienated by what they perceived as the elitism of the Royal Institution and its management of contemporary art exhibitions. In 1835, the RSA secured exhibition rights in the Royal Institution building, which had been erected on The Mound by the Board of Manufactures in 1826. The RSA and the Board frequently argued over responsibilities for advanced art education. From 1859, the RSA shared the premises of the new National Gallery of Scotland under the Board’s custody. In 1910, after transferring most of its art collections to the Gallery, the RSA gained exclusive tenancy of the former Royal Institution building, where it continues to hold large-scale annual exhibitions.

Caricature , Inscription, Palette , Royal Scottish Academy


  • Acc. No. PG 1786
  • Medium Ink on paper
  • Size 26.60 x 17.90 cm
  • Credit Transferred from the National Gallery of Scotland 1952