Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lake Nemi from Genzano


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 101 × 161 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXX 5

Catalogue entry

In addition to using the Vatican Fragments sketchbook to record details of art and architecture in Rome, Turner also appears to have employed it on several occasions during his journey south to or from Naples. The inscription in the bottom right-hand corner of this landscape sketch identifies the subject as the town and lake of Nemi, approximately eighteen miles south-east of Rome. Turner’s viewpoint is near the town of Genzano, looking north-east across the lake towards Nemi. Related sketches can be found on folios 1 verso, 26 verso, 29 verso, 75 verso, 79 verso, 80 verso and 82 (D15106, D15154, D15160, D15236, D15244, D15246 and D15249; Turner Bequest CLXXX 1a, 25a, 28a, 74a, 78a, 79a and 81). For other studies of the area see the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15329; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 19) and the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15567; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 7).
Lake Nemi later formed the subject for two finished watercolours, a vignette illustration, Lake Nemi circa 1835–40 (Taft Museum of Art, Cincinnati),1 and Lake Nemi circa 1840 (British Museum).2 Turner also painted an unfinished oil study, Lake Nemi (Tate, N03027) dating from circa 1827–8. All of these views feature a southerly prospect of the lake, with Nemi on the left and Genzano on the right, and therefore are unrelated in composition to this sketch.

Nicola Moorby
October 2009

Wilton 1979, no.1311.
Ibid, no.1381, see Powell 1987, reproduced colour pl.40.

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