Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Idealised Italianate Landscape with Trees beside a Lake

c.1828–9

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 335 x 480 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D25302
Turner Bequest CCLXIII 180

Catalogue entry

Eric Shanes has suggested this as one of several ‘colour beginnings’ which are ‘possible or certain sketches and studies’1 for the watercolour Lake Albano of about 1828 (private collection),2 engraved for The Keepsake in 1829 (Tate impressions: T04614, T04615). Among his suggestions, Tate D25447 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 324) does appear to relate directly to the finished design, and is catalogued accordingly. Any resemblance the present work bears to the Albano composition appears fortuitous and generic. An indication here of what seems to be a prominent waterside building towards the right is the most prominent difference.
Shanes has also offered Lake Avernus as an alternative.3 Nevertheless the sheet is dated here to about the time of Turner’s 1828–9 tour of Italy,4 which had been preceded by work on various Italian views for The Keepsake.5
1
Shanes 1997, p.29.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.384 no.731.
3
See Shanes 1997, pp.93, 98.
4
See Wilton 1977, p.40.
5
See also Wilton 1979, p.384 nos.726 and 730.
Technical notes:
Eric Shanes has noted that this work was made on paper from an ‘imperial sheet that had been torn in half and then quartered’; other identified sections bear the watermark ‘T Edmonds’ and the date 1825.1 Tate D25311 (Turner Bequest CCLXIII 189), a comparable subject, is on sheet of the same paper.
1
See Shanes 1997, p.40; see also p.102.
Verso:
Blank; there is brown staining at the bottom left and the watercolour used for the dark trees shows through strongly. Inscribed in pencil ‘CCLXIII | 180’ bottom right; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLXIII – 180’ towards bottom left.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

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