Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cesena: The Present-Day Piazza del Popolo with the Rocca Malatestiana, Fontana Masini from the First Floor of the Albergo Leon d’Oro


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 47

Catalogue entry

This view of Cesena, west across what is today the Piazza del Popolo from its north side, is now terminated by trees rather than the buildings Turner shows at the end. The fortifications are on the extensive perimeter of the Rocca Malatestiana fortress. The adjacent arcade and the elaborate fountain survive.
In discussing the rhythm of Turner’s journey by local transport and the effectively random shorter or longer opportunities he had to explore and draw at stops along the way, Cecilia Powell has suggested that it ‘would even appear that he did not have to make a choice between satisfying his need for refreshment and his desire to sketch, for in at least one place, Cesena, he sketched a piazza and fountain from the first-floor balcony of an inn’,1 identified as the Albergo Leon d’Oro.2 James Hamilton has observed that the break provided time for a ‘well-considered drawing’,3 while noting that the premises no longer function as a hotel.4 For other views of Cesena on adjacent pages, see under folio 46 verso (D14573; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 42a).
Powell has commented on the relatively uneventful phase of Turner’s journey between leaving Bologna and reaching Rimini (folios 43 recto–60 verso; D14566–D14598; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 39a–56a);5 for his overall route south-east between Bologna and Ancona, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.
Powell 1984, p.90.
Ibid., pp.406, 465 note 99; see also Powell 1987, p.24 and caption to pl.17.
Hamilton 2009, p.42; see also Hamilton 2008, p.44.
Hamilton 2009, p.150 note 27; see also Hamilton 2008, p.90 note 27.
See Powell 1984, pp.89–90, 465 note 98.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

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