J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

Joseph Mallord William Turner A Grove of Trees with a Distant View of a Mountain Beyond, ?between Lakes Albano and Nemi 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 18 Recto:
A Grove of Trees with a Distant View of a Mountain Beyond, ?between Lakes Albano and Nemi 1819
D15327
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 18
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Novr 10 1819’ top left
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘18’ top right and ‘301’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXII 18’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Groups of tall cypress trees and stone or umbrella pines were some of the natural features which characterised the landscape in this part of Italy, as described by Thomas Jones in the 1770s:
About Frescati, Albano, Castello, L’aricci, Gensano &c are to be seen Groves and Walks of the finest and most luxuriant forest Trees imaginable – The Ilex, Chessnut, Plane, Oak and Wallnut grow to an Amazing Size, to which we may add the Noble Pines & Cypresses which are planted in the Gardens & Vineyards. – The Waters of the two Lakes, still & transparent – reflect as in a murrour, the verdure of their shady Margins.1
The location for this sketch may be the wooded hills which separate Lakes Albano and Nemi. Turner travelled south from the former towards Ariccia, Genzano and Nemi. For a discussion of the inscribed date on this page see the general introduction to the sketchbook.
Jan Piggott has suggested that the composition forms the basis for an unfinished vignette watercolour related to Turner’s illustrations for Rogers’s Italy, circa 1826–7 (see Turner Bequest CCLXXX 136; Tate D27653).2

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

1
Thomas Jones, ‘Memoirs of Thomas Jones’, Walpole Society, vol.XXXII, 1946–8, p.66, quoted in Powell 1987, p.72.
2
Jan Piggott, Turner’s Vignettes, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1993, p.96.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘A Grove of Trees with a Distant View of a Mountain Beyond, ?between Lakes Albano and Nemi 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2008, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, http://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-grove-of-trees-with-a-distant-view-of-a-mountain-beyond-r1132622, accessed 21 April 2014.