Joseph Mallord William Turner

Street Scene: ?Via Sant’Anselmo, Aosta, with the Porta Praetoria


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink and graphite on paper
Support: 280 x 217 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest LXXIV 1

Catalogue entry

Finberg described this as the fly-leaf of the original sketchbook, a view supported by Peter Bower who notes the poor quality of the paper. It is different in type and colour to the other leaves from the book, once again probably French but from an unidentified maker and without watermark. It carries notes by the Executors of the Turner Bequest, referring to leaves found loose after Turner’s death, not having been included in the larger group bound in an album; see also the Introduction to the sketchbook.
Although a very slight outline, Turner’s sketch conjures up a lively street scene, perhaps the Via Sant’Anselmo, Aosta as the road seems to terminate in an arched wall and tower reminiscent of the Roman Porta Praetoria in that city. However, in handling the sketch is unlike the more finished drawings of Aosta from the book (D04501–D04503; Turner Bequest LXXIV 9–11) and closer to a sketch of a street in Martigny (D04580; Turner Bequest LXXIV 87).

David Blayney Brown
September 2011

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