Joseph Mallord William Turner

Notes by Turner from Eustace’s ‘A Classical Tour Through Italy’


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 155 x 99 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXII 16 a

Catalogue entry

This page is the last of several sides of extensive notes made by Turner from A Classical Tour Through Italy by Revd John Chetwode Eustace. The source was first identified by Cecilia Powell, who also transcribed Turner’s notes in full in the Appendix of her 1984 PhD thesis, ‘Turner on Classic Ground: His Visits to Central and Southern Italy and Related Paintings and Drawings’.1 The inscription is repeated here with only minor variations from her text:
of the Simplon Gondo passes | from Pueze to Imgutz – | Lugarno 25: 6 on a craggy rock a Castle | behind and the opposite cape resembles Vallombrosa | caverns (cantini) from northward by the Tresa | it joins Lago Maggiore ^ Verbano^ Varense Novara | Lago di Varese 12 by 6 Laveno on Lago | Maggiore 8 Broad Isola Bella Isola dei | Pescatori Isola Madre. Magotzo Bay of | Domo d’Ossola R Divario Gondo Vale of Tosa | near Arona ^Arona^ Statue of St Charles Borromeo | 70 feet 40 ped Bronze Castle in ruins Pictures – | the Cathedral Novaro river Agogna Sessa & | Vercelli Turin the Po rises at Monte | Viso Vesulus 1200 feet broad at Turin to Ariano | Superga. 5 Miles from T temple on its summit | Eugene and Victor Amadeus met on it before the battle | of Turin 1706 Cathedral. Royal Chapel della | Santissima Sindone Corpus Domini S Lorenzo | St Philippo Neri St Cristina S Rocco | Maurizio et Lazzaro Susa or Suza Rivoli | river Dura triumphal Arch Citadel Novalese | Ferrieres Plains of St Nicolo river Cenisolle | Mt Cenisio pillar Abbey Lake of Mt Cenis 1 1/2 | 6000 feet above the sea
These notes relate to various passages from volume IV of Eustace’s text and condense parts of the author’s account of the Milan, Turin, the Italian Lakes and an excursion to the Simplon Pass in the Alps.2 Turner’s notes culminate here at the end of Eustace’s description of his journey. The author concludes this part of his text: ‘But now we had reached the northern brow of the mountain; we had passed the boundaries of Italy, and left the regions of classic fame and beauty behind us ... England rose before us with all its public glories, and with all its domestic charms.’3 The remainder of the book is devoted to general observations on Italy and the Italians in the discursive, but subjective manner which Eustace adopted throughout his text. Since Turner’s interests were purely factual in nature and directly related to travel and sightseeing, he would have not found it necessary to take notes from the final section.

Nicola Moorby
July 2008

Powell 1984, pp.402–3.
John Chetwode Eustace, A Classical Tour Through Italy, London 1815, 3rd edition, vol.IV, pp.67–121.
Ibid., p.127.

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