Joseph Mallord William Turner

Five Sketches on Lake Lugano; Including Views of Oria, Albogasio, and Gandria


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 186 × 111 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 71

Catalogue entry

Turner toured Lake Lugano by boat, travelling between Porlezza in the east and Lugano in the west,1 and sketches related to this expedition can be found on folios 71–73 verso (D14280–D14285; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 70–72a). This sheet contains five distinct views, as seen from the waters of the lake.
The uppermost study depicts a view of the northern shore of the lake looking east. Turner has labelled the visible lakeside villages which are, from left to right, Oria, Albogasio and San Mamete. The fourth sketch from the top meanwhile represents a view looking in the opposite direction, west, towards the distinctive peak of Monte San Salvatore with the village of Gandria on the right.
In addition to his sketches of the topography Turner appears to have been very interested in the tones and colours of the area. This sheet contains a note concerning the appearance of an olive grove. Furthermore, he appears to have numbered some of the distant peaks in the scene, which perhaps represents a record of the scale of tonality within the view.

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

See Crimi 2007, pp.30–1.

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