Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of the View from Piazzale degli Uffizi towards Palazzo Vecchio, with the Duomo and the Loggia dei Lanzi

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
D16548
Turner Bequest CXCI 34

Catalogue entry

The main sketch on this page depicts the view looking north from the Piazzale degli Uffizi (the narrow open square running through the centre of the U-shaped Uffizi Gallery), towards the Piazza della Signoria with the dome of the Duomo (Cathedral) beyond.1 Rising on the right is the Palazzo Vecchio, whilst visible on the left is part of the Loggia dei Lanzi (also known as the Loggia della Signoria), a famous arcade used for the display of antique and Renaissance sculpture. The prospect is repeated within a second sketch, parallel with the right-hand side of the sheet, which depicts the full height of the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio.2 A similar view was depicted by the eighteenth-century vedute artist Giuseppe Zocchi (1711–1767).3 As Powell has discussed, Turner seems to have been unaware of Zocchi’s work since his composition lacks the perspectival grandeur of the long view from the river end of the gallery.4 For a study of the Loggia dei Lanzi and Palazzo Vecchio from the opposite direction see folio 37 (D16554). The artist also spent time exploring the treasures of the Uffizi Gallery itself, see folio 60 (D16585).
Also, in the bottom right-hand corner of this page is an inverted sketch of hills or mountains which forms part of the landscape composition from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 33 verso (D16548).

Nicola Moorby
December 2010

1
First identified by Finberg, see Finberg 1909, p.568.
2
First identified by Cecilia Powell, see Powell 1984, p.429.
3
See Veduta degli Ufizi, o sia Curia Fiorentina presa dalla Loggia presso Arno , reproduced in Vues de Florence et de Toscane d’après Giuseppe Zocchi, exhibition catalogue, Cabinet des Estampes Musée d’Art et d’Historique Genève 1974, as pl.23, Les Offices.
4
Powell 1987, p.92.

Read full Catalogue entry

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