Colour and Line, room guide, Italy 1819

The watercolours Turner painted on his first Italian tour marked a turning point in his career. His encounter with warm Mediterranean light inspired a dramatic lightening of his palette: while architectural details are treated with soft pinks and browns, loose, wet washes of limpid blues depict tranquil skies over tepid, clear waters.

Once again Turner uses a variety of papers. Compare the studies on light grey paper with those on a white background.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘The Colosseum, Rome, from the West’ 1819
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Colosseum, Rome, from the West 1819
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Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘View of Rome with a Rainbow, from the Gardens of the Villa Barberini’ 1819
Joseph Mallord William Turner
View of Rome with a Rainbow, from the Gardens of the Villa Barberini 1819
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Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘The Castel dell’Ovo, Naples, with Capri in the Distance’ 1819
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Castel dell’Ovo, Naples, with Capri in the Distance 1819
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Joseph Mallord William Turner, ‘The Roman Campagna with Monte Gennaro in the Distance’ 1819
Joseph Mallord William Turner
The Roman Campagna with Monte Gennaro in the Distance 1819
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