Joseph Mallord William Turner

Five Landscape Sketches on the Road from Rome to Florence; Including Two at Narni


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 189 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCI 24

Catalogue entry

Turner left Rome sometime in mid to late December and travelled on to Florence. This page contains five sketches which were probably drawn en route from a moving vehicle, retracing part of the road which Turner had taken in September on his journey south towards Rome from Ancona. The second sketch from the bottom may depict the Ponte Felice near Borghetto in Umbria, see the Ancona to Rome sketchbook (Tate D14792; CLXXVII 71a). Meanwhile, at least two of the views relate to Narni, an Umbrian hilltop town approximately fifty miles north of the capital. The middle sketch appears to depict views from the valley at the northernmost tip of the town looking towards the medieval bridge destroyed during the Second World War. The second sketch from the top depicts the Church of the Santuario della Madonna del Ponte, with the sole surviving arch of the famous Roman Bridge of Augustus. A related sketch dating from the outward journey to Rome can be found in the Ancona to Rome sketchbook (see Tate D14748; Turner Bequest CLXXVII 49).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

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