Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Priamar Fortress at Savona


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 147 x 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 140

Catalogue entry

Traditionally suggested as a view in the South of France, the subject now identified was noted by Turner scholar Ian Warrell ahead of the touring 2010 Watercolour in Britain exhibition. Priamar is a fortress at Savona, on the Mediterranean coast in the north-west of Italy. Turner passed that way in 1828 as he travelled to Rome, and again perhaps in 1837; see the entry for Tate D33718 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 39), a view of nearby Genoa.
Of other works in the present section, Tate D24706 and D36229 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 141, CCCLXIV 367) may show views in the vicinity. See also John Chu’s section ‘Mediterranean – South of France/Italy ?after 1827’ for comparable coastal scenes from Turner Bequest section CCLIX.
The first cataloguer of the Turner Bequest, John Ruskin, described the work’s handling as ‘Fine, but a little hard and mannered.’1
Cook and Wedderburn 1904, p.386.
Blank; inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘[...]’ bottom right (number obscured); inscribed in pencil ‘20b’ right of centre; inscribed in pencil ‘CCLIX.140’ bottom centre; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCLIX – 140’ at centre.

Matthew Imms
February 2016

Read full Catalogue entry


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