Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ten Copies of Engravings after John ‘Warwick’ Smith from ‘Select Views in Italy’

c.1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 155 x 99 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13963
Turner Bequest CLXXII 17

Catalogue entry

This page is one of a series containing small pen-and-ink sketches of topographical Italian views. As Finberg first identified, these are copies of the engraved plates in John Smith, William Byrne and John Emes’s, Select Views in Italy, published in two volumes between 1792–9. The images derive from the following compositions (in sequence left to right and top to bottom):
i
Bologna, drawn by John ‘Warwick’ Smith and engraved by Thomas Medland. 1 Inscribed by the artist in black ink ‘Bologna’ top centre.
ii
Palazzo Publico, at Bologna, drawn by John ‘Warwick’ Smith and engraved by Thomas Medland.2 Inscribed by the artist in black ink ‘Palazzo Publico, Bol’ top centre. This scene depicts Giambologna’s statue of Neptune in the Piazza Nettuno about which Turner commented ‘by J of Bol. good figure Ex legs’, see folio 4 (D13938).
iii
Dogana, on Pietra Mala, drawn by John ‘Warwick’ Smith and engraved by William Byrne.3 Inscribed by the artist in black ink ‘Dogana on Pietra Mala’ top centre and ‘road’ bottom centre.
iv
In the Apennines, between Bologna and Florence, drawn by John ‘Warwick’ Smith and engraved by William Byrne.4 Inscribed by the artist in black ink ‘Bol and Florence | Le Machere’ and ‘Inn’ top centre. This refers to an inn called Le Maschere, mentioned in the text accompanying Plate 5 as the only one in the vicinity ‘with tolerable accommodations’.
v
In the Apennines, between Bologna and Florence, drawn by John ‘Warwick’ Smith and engraved by William Byrne and J. Schuman.5 Inscribed by the artist in black ink ‘Le Machere’ bottom left. This refers to an inn called Le Maschere, mentioned in the text accompanying the plate as the only one in the vicinity ‘with tolerable accommodations’. It is not clear why Turner should have labelled the drawing thus, since the view itself was taken from another inn ‘further in in the environs of Caffagiolo which was thought to convey something more characteristic of the surrounding scenery’.
 
vi
Florence, drawn by John ‘Warwick’ Smith and engraved by Benjamin Thomas Pouncy.6 The text accompanying this plate mentions the celebrated bronze doors of the city’s Baptistry and may be the source for Turner’s awareness that they were the work of Lorenzo Ghiberti, see folio 15 (D13959). In this instance Turner’s copy of the composition is not very accurate. He has omitted for example the dome of Santa Maria Novella and has not indicated enough space between the bridge and the Church of San Lorenzo.
1
John Smith, William Byrne and John Emes, Select Views in Italy with Topographical and Historical Descriptions in English and French, vol.I, London 1792, pl.1.
2
Ibid., pl.2.
3
Ibid., pl.3.
4
Ibid., pl.4.
5
Ibid., pl.5.
6
Ibid., pl.6.
7
Ibid., pl.7.
8
Ibid., pl.8.
9
Ibid., pl.9.
10
Ibid., pl.10.

Nicola Moorby
July 2008

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