The inscription on this page represents advice to Turner on travelling in Italy in preparation for the artist’s first tour of the country in 1819. The author is James Hakewill (1778–1843), with whom Turner collaborated on the engraved print project, Picturesque Tour of Italy, published 1820 (see the introduction to the sketchbook). The text was first transcribed by Finberg,1 and is repeated here with minor variations:
Florence. | Principal Hotel Schniedorfs. | commonly called Sniders. | See the Museum. enquire for the engraved | gems. | Academy | Palazzo Pitti | Cathedral | Baptistery. for the gates &c. | Medici tomb
The Florentine hotel recommended by Hakewill, was a well-known establishment called the Pensione Schneider which stood near the banks of the river on the Lungarno Guicciardini. It was widely patronised by English travellers to Florence during this period.2 Lady Lyttelton, who arrived in the city shortly before Turner on 3 November 1819, described how she had found it ‘up to the brim with English, and with difficulty found a place to put our heads in. However, we did at last at Shreydorrf’s [Schneider’s] insinuate ourselves in the still warm dirt of a family who had gone away two hours before.’3 The hotel had formed the viewpoint for Hakewill’s drawing, Ponte della Trinità on the Lung’Arno – Florence (British School at Rome Library),4 which Turner had reproduced as a watercolour, Florence, from the Ponte alla Carriara circa 1816–17 (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester) for Picturesque Tour of Italy, published 1820.5 Other studies of Florence including views from the Palazzo Pitti can also be found amidst Hakewill’s drawings from this time (British School at Rome Library).6
Turner visited Florence during his 1819 tour, although it formed part of his return journey from Rome, rather than the outward route recommended by Hakewill. Related sketches can be found in the Rome and Florence sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CXCI). Hakewill’s notes to Turner continue on folio 12 (D13880).
Finberg 1909, p.496.
See Powell 1982, pp.415 and 424 note 45. Also the description by Lady Lyttelton J.R. Hale (ed.), The Italian Journal of Samuel Rogers, London 1956, p.61.
Quoted in J.R. Hale (ed.), The Italian Journal of Samuel Rogers, London 1956, p.61.
Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.2.36, p.153, reproduced.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, no.713.
See Cubberley and Herrmann 1992, nos.2.35–2.42, pp.152–9.