Joseph Mallord William Turner

Landscape sketches of Nemi, and Lake Nemi from Ariccia


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 101 x 161 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXX 74 a

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 to or from Naples. This page contains two rough landscape sketches which appear to relate to locations en route. The inscription below the prospect in the top right-hand corner identifies the subject as the town of Nemi, approximately eighteen miles south-east of Rome. Meanwhile, the inscription relating to the second study, parallel with the left-hand edge, suggests that this depicts a view of Lake Nemi from Ariccia. Related sketches can be found on folios 1 verso, 6, 26 verso, 29 verso, 79 verso, 80 verso and 82 (D15106, D15113, D15154, D15160, D15244, D15246 and D15249; Turner Bequest CLXXX 1a, 5, 25a, 28a, 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
December 2009

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

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