Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 49 Verso:
View above Papigno with Distant View of Terni; also a Road amongst the Hills 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 49 a
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 49 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 110 x 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.522, as ‘Narni (?)’.
Cecilia Powell, ‘Turner on Classic Ground: His Visits to Central and Southern Italy and Related Paintings and Drawings’, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London 1984, pp. 101, 469 note 143.
Cecilia Powell, Turner in the South: Rome, Naples, Florence, New Haven and London 1987, p.34.
James Hamilton, Nicola Moorby, Christopher Baker and others, Turner e l’Italia, exhibition catalogue, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara 2008, pp.44, 90 note 29.
James Hamilton, Nicola Moorby, Christopher Baker and others, Turner & Italy, exhibition catalogue, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh 2009, pp.42, 150–1 note 29.
At Terni, Turner made a short detour from his route in order to visit the nearby Falls of Terni, or Cascata delle Marmore, an impressive waterfall created by the descent of the River Velino into the valley below. This sketch depicts the view above Papigno, a small village built on a hill en routebetween Terni and the Falls. In the background is a distant view of the skyline of Terni. A similar prospect was painted by Joseph August Knip (1777–1847), Veduta di Terni circa 1817 (Historisch Museum, Amsterdam),1 and the French artist Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875) in an en plein-air oil sketch, Papigno: rives escarpées et boisées 1826 (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Valence). The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 50 (D14750). The composition corresponds to Eustace’s description of the site in A Classical Tour Through Italy:
The upper road to the Caduta crosses a plain varied with olives, vines, and corn fields, and climbs the mountain through a defile, whose sides are clad with vines below, and with box and ilex above ... In the centre of the defile rises an isolated eminence, topped with the ruins of the village of Papignia destroyed by the French. Ascending still higher, you come to an angle, where the road is worked through the rock, and forming a very elevated terrace, gives you a view of Terni and its plain; of the dell below with the Nar; of the mountains around with their woods; and of the Velino itself, at a considerable distance, just bursting from the shade, and throwing itself down the steep.2
Turner made notes from this passage in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (see Tate D13940; Turner Bequest CLXXII 5).
This page has also been used for a second sketch executed with the sketchbook held vertically as a notebook. This depicts a view amidst some mountains with a road winding around the side of a steep slope on the right. The location has not been identified but it probably represents somewhere in the vicinity of Terni and the Cascata delle Marmore.
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