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Turner visited Loreto (which he spelled Loretto) on his way back from Rome early in 1829. The picture was painted quickly for the Royal Academy that spring as Turner was - correctly as it turned out - concerned that works already painted and shown in Rome would not arrive in London in time. The motif of the necklace was thought at the time to allude to the rosary, and to the cult of the Madonna at Loreto. As Ruskin noted, Turner altered the central tree from 'a graceful stone pine' by adding more foliage.

November 2001