Joseph Mallord William Turner

Villa Olmo, Lake Como

1819

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 111 x 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14257
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 58 a

Catalogue entry

Federico Crimi has identified the subject of this sketch as the Villa Olmo, also known as the Villa Odescalchi, a neoclassical residence on the shores of Lake Como, just west of Como itself.1 Turner’s viewpoint appears to be from within the villa grounds to the south and depicts part of the building’s façade, topped by a balustrade and statues. A related study from an alternate viewpoint can be found on folio 58 verso (D14256; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 57a). Visible in the foreground of the drawing is what appears to be a commemorative stone tablet. This may represent the location of the inscription transcribed on folio 60 (D14258; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 59).
For further sketches of Lake Como see folio 48 (D14234; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 47).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

1
Crimi 2009, p.29 note 8. This identification corrects a previous attribution in Crimi 2007, p.28 note 30.

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