Joseph Mallord William Turner

An ?Italian City, with Towers and Fortifications

c.1828–43

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 151 x 225 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D33957
Turner Bequest CCCXLI 243

Catalogue entry

This detailed view of a fortified town is unidentified, but may be Italian; see the Introduction to this section for further brief discussion and dating. Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry for this sheet gives the recto title as ‘Ruined fortifications on rock’ with the ‘Reverse’ as ‘View of city, with towers, &c.’.1 Although the present side was subsequently stamped with the Turner Bequest number usually reserved for the recto, it appears that he intended the secondary title to describe the view here; the other side is Tate D40332 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 243v), where less coherent ‘Ruined fortifications’ are shown.
Subsequent to the publication of his 1909 Inventory Finberg noted the undated suggestion of the Turner scholar C.F. Bell (1871–1966) that the subject might be Avignon or neighbouring Villeneuve,2 in the South of France, but the subject currently remains unconfirmed.

Matthew Imms
February 2016

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.1076.
2
See undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, opposite p.1076.

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