Ben Lomond Mountains, Scotland: The Traveller – Vide Ossian’s War of Caros
Turner was among the greatest painter–tourists of the period. His first foray to Scotland in 1797 was just a jaunt across the border to sketch a few abbeys and he returned for five more lengthy tours between 1801 and 1834. Often prompted by the commissioning of drawings to be engraved for publication, these sketching trips resulted in the largest number of works on Scottish subjects to be produced by an artist in the long 18th century.
They also contributed to Turner’s discovery of awe-inspiring mountainous landscapes. He first sought to respond to the epic resonance of Ossian’s poetry through sketches in the so-called ‘Scottish pencil’ drawings recording his 1801 tour. This landscape, executed when back in London, was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1802.