Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lake Avernus, with the Ruins of the Temple of Apollo


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 × 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 76

Catalogue entry

This page contains sketches of Lake Avernus, a volcanic crater lake near Pozzuoli which is represented in classical mythology as the entrance to the underworld. In the bottom right-hand corner is part of a composition continued from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 77 verso (D15708; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 75a), which depicts a view of the lake looking north towards Monte Corvara. A similar composition was depicted by John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831) in Select Views in Italy, and a copy of this plate can be found in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (Tate D13969; Turner Bequest CLXXII 20a). For further sketches of Lake Avernus and a discussion of Turner’s related paintings see folio 19 verso (Tate D15592).

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

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