Joseph Mallord William Turner

Macerata from the Road


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 19 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s route from Ancona to Rome took him past the hill town of Macerata in the Marche region of Italy. As was often the case, the progress of the carriage did not give him any opportunity to stop and explore the centre. It simply followed the predetermined course around Macerata in an anti-clockwise direction from the north-east. Consequently Turner’s sketches of the town only depict views he could see from the road. The subject of this drawing is the walls of Macerata seen from the west side of the town (present-day Viale Puccinotti). The gate, as John Chetwode Eustace described, is ‘a sort of modern triumphal arch not remarkable either for materials or for proportion’.1 The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 20 (D14691) with the seventeenth-century dome and lantern and adjacent campanile of the Church of San Giovanni. A similar sketch can be found in the Route to Rome sketchbook (Tate D13871; Turner Bequest CLXXI 7).
This drawing has been previously identified by Cecilia Powell as the Porta Marina at Loreto with the onion shaped top of the campanile of the Santuario della Santa Casa on the right.2 However, even allowing for the rough, schematic nature of the drawing, the proportions do not correspond and the basilica itself is absent from the view.

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

John Chetwode Eustace, A Classical Tour Through Italy, London 1815, vol.I, p.306.
Powell 1984, p.408.

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