Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lake Albano, looking towards Monte Cavo and Rocca di Papa


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 5

Catalogue entry

Turner circled Lake Albano and made sketches from several different points. This view shows the eastern end of the lake from the ‘galleria di sopra’, the higher of two tree-lined roads which led from Albano to Castel Gandolfo. The peak in the background is Monte Cavo and Turner has also noted the location of the town of Rocca di Papa.1 The three figures in the bottom right-hand corner wear long robes and one appears to be carrying a cross suggesting that they might be nuns. It is probable therefore that Turner’s viewpoint may have been near the monastery of Palazzolo. It is not clear to what the colour notes and other inscriptions refer.
For a full discussion of Turner’s depictions of Lake Albano see folio 3 verso (D15301) and the general introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

A similar view can be seen in a drawing by Charels Joseph Lecointe, see Francesco Petrucci e Susanna Marra, Vedute dei Colli Albani e di Roma dall’album di viaggio di Charles Joseph Lecointe (1824–1886), exhibition catalogue, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia 2006, no.13, p.31, reproduced.

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