Joseph Mallord William Turner

Buildings in the Apennine Mountains; ?Pale, near Foligno


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 33

Catalogue entry

This sketch represents a view amidst the Apennines on the descent towards Foligno after Colfiorito. The subject is not conclusively identified but the topography of the mountains and the road winding up the slope towards a building in the top left-hand corner suggests that it may represent a view of the village of Pale, approximately four miles north-east of Foligno, with a small monastery above, the Eremo di Santa Maria di Giacobbe. During the nineteenth century, the area was famous for its paper mills, including one at Pale. Eustace provides a description of the location in A Classical Tour Through Italy:
At the village situate in the dell below amidst woods and rocks, the river pent up between the closing crag, works its way through several little chasms, and tumbles in seven or eight cascades down the steep through tufts of box and ilex, amidst houses and fragments of rocks intermingled, into the plain below, where turning two or three mills as it passes, it hurries along to join the neighbouring Clitumnus.1
The same buildings can be seen on folios 30 verso (D14711) and 31 (D14712).
On the far left-hand side there is also a small part of the sketch from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 32 verso (D14715).

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

John Chetwode Eustace, A Classical Tour Through Italy, London 1815, vol.I, p.316.

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