Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Po, Turin, with Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I and the Monte dei Cappuccini


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 x 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 37

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is a view of Turin from the western (left) bank of the River Po.1 Turner’s study looks up-river (south) towards the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I, a bridge which had only recently been built at the start of the nineteenth century. Visible on the opposite side of the river is the hill known as the Monte dei Cappuccini, topped by the Church of Santa Maria al Monte.2 Finding that he had run out of room Turner extended his drawing on the right-hand side by folding back the sheet and continuing the composition on the underlying sheet, see folio 39 (Tate D14219; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 38).
Turner made a number of sketches of Turin from the river. Similar views can be found on folios 38 verso–40 (D14218–D14221; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 37a–39), while for a vista looking in the opposite direction see folios 26 verso–27 (D14195–6; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 25a–26).

Nicola Moorby
December 2012

First identified by Finberg 1930, p.163.
The view today would also include the church of Gran Madre di Dio which was built between 1818–31 at the eastern end of the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I.

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