Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lake Piediluco, near Terni and the Cascata delle Marmore


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 x 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 47

Catalogue entry

At Terni, Turner made a short detour from his route in order to visit the famous Falls of Terni, or Cascata delle Marmore, and the adjacent Lake of Piediluco. Translating as ‘at the foot of the mountain’, the lake and town of Piediluco lie within a valley approximately two miles east of the Cascata. Turner appears to have first viewed the waterfall near the top, from the Belvedere Superiore, and then explored the surrounding hills to the east as far as the lake. This sketch depicts the view from the shores looking across the water to the eleventh-century castle on the slopes of the hill above. The smaller hill on the right represents the nearby town of Labro. A further drawing can be found on folio 47 verso (D14745).
In preparation for his 1819 Italian tour Turner had made miniature pen-and-ink copies in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook based upon topographical engravings from John ‘Warwick’ Smith’s Select Views of Italy, published in two volumes between 1792–9. These include a study of the ‘Lake of Piede Lugo’ (see Tate D13964; Turner Bequest CLXXII 18, fourth down from top left).

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

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