Joseph Mallord William TurnerA Mediterranean Sea-Port, with a Lighthouse c.1796

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
A Mediterranean Sea-Port, with a Lighthouse
Date c.1796
MediumGraphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensionssupport: 430 x 557 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D00904
Turner Bequest XXXIII g
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Mediterranean Sea-Port, with a Lighthouse c.1796
D00904
Turner Bequest XXXIII g
Pencil and watercolour on white wove paper, 430 x 557 mm
Stamped in black ‘XXXIII – g’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
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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