Joseph Mallord William Turner

Forte Sangallo, from the gorge at Civita Castellana


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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 77 a

Catalogue entry

The town of Civita Castellana lies in the Viterbo province of Lazio, approximately seventeen miles south of Narni and thirty miles north of Rome. This sketch depicts the distinctive outline of the Forte Sangallo and the deep gorge which surrounds the town from the road to the south-west towards Castel Sant’Elia and Nepi. Turner has used rough areas of hatching and broad looping lines to describe the verdant, shady slopes of the ravine. The gorge was most famously depicted by the early French en plein-air artists such as Jean-Joseph-Xavier Bidauld (1758–1846), 1 Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes (1750–1819) and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796–1875).2

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

See Philip Conisbee, Sarah Faunce and Jeremy Strick, In the Light of Italy: Corot and Early Open-Air Painting, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington 1996, p.141 and Anna Ottani Cavina, Un Paese Incantato: Italia Dipinta da Thomas Jones a Corot, exhibition catalogue, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Parigi and Palazzo Te, Mantova, Italy 2001, p.125.
See Peter Galassi, Corot in Italy, New Haven and London 1991, pp.174–195.

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