Kilgarren Castle, Pembrokeshire
Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA (London 1775 - Chelsea 1851)
Turner visited Kilgarren Castle on his tour of south Wales in 1798. He painted a number of views of the Castle, exhibiting 'Kilgarren Castle on the Twyvey, Hazy Sunrise previous to a Sultry Day' at the Royal Academy in 1799. Lord Armstrong bought a painting of Kilgarren Castle in 1878 from the collection of Munro of Novar, an important patron of Turner. Armstrong’s Kilgarren Castle was exhibited as a Turner at the Guildhall in London in 1899 alongside another version of the composition, which the artist John MacWhirter, after seeing the two paintings together, regarded as the original. When the major paintings in Lord Armstrong’s collection were put up for sale at Christie’s in 1910, Kilgarren Castle was among them. It did not reach its reserve, however, and was not sold, remaining to this day in the private collection of the Armstrong family. By a happy coincidence, the National Trust was bequeathed the present version – the very painting MacWhirter believed to be the original – by Lady Mildred Fitzgerald, in 1970. It was displayed at Wordsworth House in Cumbria before being transferred to Cragside.
Oil painting on canvas, Kilgarren Castle, by Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA, (London 1775 - Chelsea 1851), 1798-99.
Exhibited at the Royal Academy, 1799 (305); probably in the collection of the painter William Delamotte (1775-1863); purchased in Oxford by Sir John Leicester, later Lord de Tabley (1762-1827), before 1808; his posthumous sale, Christie's, 7 July 1827, lot 17, purchased by Butterworth; William Cave; Christie's, 29 June 1854, lot 61, purchased by Wallis; anonymous sale, Foster's, 3 February 1858, lot 106, bought in; Joseph Gillott's sale, Christie's, 27 April 1872, lot 305, purchased by H. L. Bischoffsheim (1829 - 1909); bequeathed by him to his daughter, Lady Fitzgerald, wife of Sir Maurice Fitzgerald; thence by descent; bequeathed to the National Trust by Lady Mildred Murray, Lady Fitzgerald (1878-1969) 1970; formerly displayed at Wordsworth House.
National Trust Collections, Cragside (the Armstrong Collection). Accepted by HM Government in lieu of inheritance tax with assistance from the National Land Fund and allocated to the National Trust, 1977.
Makers and roles
Joseph Mallord William Turner, RA (London 1775 - Chelsea 1851), artist
Turner et la couleur, Hotel de Caumont (ed. Hazan), 2016, p.17, fig.4