Joseph Mallord William Turner

Galileo’s Villa, for Rogers’s ‘Italy’


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 241 × 307 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 163

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Turner designed almost one hundred and fifty vignettes which were engraved and published in volumes of literature by his contemporaries, thereby bringing his art to a vast audience, many of whom would not have been familiar with the paintings he exhibited at the Royal Academy. Some of his most successful work in this form was made for two volumes of poetry by the now unfashionable Samuel Rogers; most of these designs remained in Turner own collection. His depiction of the sky makes an important contribution to the appeal of these delicate images which embrace both the romantic moonlight of Italy and the watery skies of England, as well as more emblematic effects.

Gallery label, September 2004

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