Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Grove of Trees with a Distant View of a Mountain Beyond, ?between Lakes Albano and Nemi


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 18

Catalogue entry

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

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

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