Joseph Mallord William Turner

View on Lake Como; Torno and Villa Pliniana from the North


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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 52 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch, continued on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, depicts a view on Lake Como. Turner appears to have made at least two trips on the lake during his 1819 tour of Italy and this drawing relates to the first of these; a circular expedition which left the city of Como and followed the western perimeter of the lake by boat as far as Laglio before returning by road along the eastern shore of the western branch.1 Federico Crimi has identified the precise location as Carate Urio on the west coast, as seen from the north, i.e. on the return leg of the journey.2 On the far right-hand side of the composition, see folio 54 (D14246; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 53), is the Church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo. Visible on this side of the view, however, is the shore opposite Carate Urio (the right bank of the western branch of Lake Como), with the town of Torno on the right, and the sixteenth-century Villa Pliniana on the far left.
For further sketches of Lake Como see folio 48 (D14234; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 47).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

See Federico Crimi, ‘J.M.W. Turner e il Verbano: 1819: Torino, Milano e il Sempione’, in Verbanus, no.28, 2007, p.27 and Crimi 2009, p.39 note 8.
Crimi 2009, p.39 note 8.

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