Joseph Mallord William TurnerView on Lake Como; ?Villa d'Este, Cernobbio 1819

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Artwork details

View on Lake Como; ?Villa d'Este, Cernobbio
From Turin, Como, Lugarno, Maggiore Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CLXXIV
Date 1819
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 111 x 186 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 48
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 49 Recto:
View on Lake Como; ?Villa d’Este, Cernobbio 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 48
Pencil on white wove paper, 111 x 186 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Como’ centre right-hand edge
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘48’ top right and ‘284’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXIV 48’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner appears to have made at least two trips on Lake Como during his 1819 tour of Italy. The first of these, as documented by his sketchbook drawings, appears to have been 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 This sketch depicts a view of part of the lake from the water and the subject is tentatively identified as the Villa d’Este, a Renaissance residence on the shores near Cernobbio, which at this time was the home of Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of King George IV.2 A small part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 48 verso (D14235; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 47a).
For further sketches of Lake Como see folio 48 (D14234; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 47).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

See Crimi 2007, p.27.
Since 1873 the Villa d’Este has been a luxury hotel.

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