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This sketch is one of a series of interior views of the Duomo (cathedral) of Parma, see folios 9 verso–10 verso (D16658–D16660). The subject is the crossing of the Duomo with part of the famous dome decorated with frescoes by Antonio Correggio (1489–1534). Turner’s viewpoint appears to be the south transept looking through the crossing towards the nave. Visible near the top centre of the composition is one of the four spandrels situated beneath the dome, respectively adorned with paintings of the four patron saints of Parma. The figure represented in this view may be that of John the Baptist. Above the spandrel are three of the eight circular windows punctuating the drum and figures from the lower part of Correggio’s fresco, The Assumption of the Virgin 1526–30.
Turner also made studies of the exterior of the Duomo, see folio 5 verso (D16650).