Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Mediterranean Sea-Port, with a Lighthouse

c.1796

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 430 x 557 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00904
Turner Bequest XXXIII g

Catalogue entry

The pencil work is Turner’s own, and this may be a copy from a print, perhaps after Claude-Joseph Vernet (1714–1789); it is not necessarily related to Turner’s work for Dr Monro. Finberg suggested the identification of the subject as a view of Livorno, or Leghorn, on the west coast of central Italy. This is a well developed, fresh marine study which seems to draw some of its inspiration from Turner’s experience of the south coast of Wales and the Isle of Wight in 1795; see the South Wales and Isle of Wight sketchbooks (Tate; Turner Bequest XXVI, XXIV). The boats and buildings, as well as the precisely delineated lighthouse, are continental, but the figures conform to types that recur in Turner’s drawings of English people in these years.
Verso:
Blank; a few paint smears; not stamped.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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