Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Fountain of the Ocean by Giambologna in the Boboli Gardens, Florence

1819

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16600
Turner Bequest CXCI 68 a

Catalogue entry

As Cecilia Powell first identified, this sketch represents a study of the Fountain of the Ocean, 1576, by Giambologna (1529–1608) in the Boboli Gardens, Florence.1 The fountain sits in the centre of the Isolotto, a small island surrounded by water to the west of the gardens, and is comprised of a standing statue of Neptune and four reclining river gods. The sculpture on the far right-hand side is that of a Triton situated around the perimeter of the lake. For further studies of the Boboli Gardens see folio 50 verso (D16570).
Turner also made notes and sketches of Giambologna’s Fountain of Neptune in Bologna, see the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (Tate D13938; Turner Bequest CXCII 4) and Venice to Ancona sketchbook (Tate D14535–D14536; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 26a and b).2

Nicola Moorby
January 2011

1
Powell 1984, p.431.
2
Powell 1987, p.62.

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