Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Porta Pia and Lazzaretto, Ancona

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: 111 x 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14625
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 71

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell extended Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Triumphal arch on pier at Ancona’): ‘of Clement XII’.1 In fact, while that smaller arch north of the harbour is shown on folio 69 verso (D14514; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 65a) and other pages, the most prominent subject here is rather the Baroque Porta Pia, as Cecilia Powell recognised,2 on the south-eastern side at the corner of the Banchina on what is now the Via XXIX Settembre.
The viewpoint is near the modern roundabout where it meets the Via Guglielmo Marconi, looking north-west along the turreted outer wall of the Lazzaretto to its rusticated gateway on the left. The complex is shown linked to the mainland by a bridge (since replaced by a more substantial one), with the Porta Pia to the north-north-west; the fortifications immediately adjoining it do not survive. Lightly outlined at the centre is the substantial lighthouse which once stood in the distance on the north side of the harbour, as shown more clearly in other views.
For Cecilia Powell and James Hamilton’s comments on Turner’s varied and extensive coverage of Ancona, which takes up most of the last quarter or so of this sketchbook, see under D14514.3

Matthew Imms
March 2017

1
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.519.
2
See Powell 1984, p.407.
3
See ibid., pp.92–3, 466 note 109, Powell 1987, pp.25, 202 note 45, and Hamilton 1997, pp.198, 325 note 13.

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