Bell Rock Lighthouse

J. M. W. Turner1819

National Galleries of Scotland

National Galleries of Scotland

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.

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  • Title: Bell Rock Lighthouse
  • Creator: Joseph Mallord William Turner
  • Date Created: 1819
  • Physical Dimensions: w455 x h306 cm (Without frame)
  • Credit Line: Purchased by Private Treaty Sale 1989 with the aid of funds from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Pilgrim Trust
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: http://www.nationalgalleries.org/shop/commercial-and-non-commercial-reproduction/article/copyright-and-reproduction-of-works
  • External Link: National Galleries of Scotland
  • Medium: Watercolour and gouache with scratching out on paper


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