Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lake Avernus, with the Ruins of the Temple of Apollo


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 122 x 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 76

Catalogue entry

This page contains sketches of Lake Avernus, a volcanic crater lake near Pozzuoli which is represented in classical mythology as the entrance to the underworld. In the bottom right-hand corner is part of a composition continued from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 77 verso (D15708; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 75a), which depicts a view of the lake looking north towards Monte Corvara. A similar composition was depicted by John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831) in Select Views in Italy, and a copy of this plate can be found in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (Tate D13969; Turner Bequest CLXXII 20a). For further sketches of Lake Avernus and a discussion of Turner’s related paintings see folio 19 verso (Tate D15592).

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

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