Kilchurn Castle

Kilchurn Castle, by George Arthur Fripp (1819-1896) from the picture in the Royal Collection. Engraved by Robert Willam Wallis (1794-1878) for The Art-Journal, Vol. IV (1858), facing p. 56. Click on the image to enlarge it.

Fripp, who was born in Bristol into a clerical family, was seen as an artist "who goes to nature instead of inventing his subjects in the studio" and whose work, if not of the most skilful, bore "the impress of freshness and individuality, which is a result of this" (Our Living Painters,76-77). This particular painting (or rather the fine engraving of it by Robert Wallis) is discussed at length by Philip Hamerton in his biography of Turner:

Mr. Fripp's picture includes the castle, the alluvial plain of the Orchay, Ben Anea, and the mountains of Glen Strae. It is not by any means a strictly accurate piece of topography, Mr. Fripp having used his liberty as an artist in various ways, which we will indicate very shortly; but he has been extremely careful to preserve what seemed to him all the most important truths of local character, so that any one who loved the place might find in the picture at least all those features which he would be likely to remember and to recognize.

Hamerton uses Fripp's work to illustrate the way in which landscape painting differs from topography. He goes on to show that, in Turner's case, the poetic vison of the painter has radically changed the nature of the scene depicted, communicating a personal vision rather than even a not-entirely representational version of it.

Link to related material


The Art-Journal, new series Vol. IV (1858). Hathi Trust. Contributed by the Getty Research Institute. Web. 21 September 2022.

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert. The Life of J. W. Turner, R.A.. Boston: Roberts Bros., 1879. Internet Archive. Contributed by the Getty Research Institute. Web. 21 September 2022.

Our Living Painters, Their lives and Works. London: James Blackwood, 1859. Google Books. Free Ebook. See pp. 76-79.

Robert Wallis (1794-1878). Royal Academy. Web. 21 September 2022.

Created 21 September 2022