The author of this inscription is James Hakewill (1778–1843), with whom Turner collaborated on the engraved print project, Picturesque Tour of Italy, published 1820. It represents advice to Turner on travelling to Italy from Switzerland, in preparation for the artist’s first Italian tour of 1819 (see the introduction to the sketchbook). The text was first transcribed by Finberg,1 and is repeated here with minor variations:
Stop at Sion, the Capital of the Vallais. | At Tourtimagne, is a good waterfall. | Don’t go to Brig but to Glise at the | foot of the Simplon – | Go leisurely over the Mountain. The | descent on the Italian side the finest. | Good inn at DomoDossola and at | Baveno where you take boat to visit
Hakewill had himself travelled to Italy via this route in 1816–17, and views of Sion, the Route of the Simplon and Domodossola can all be found amidst his drawings from this time (British School at Rome Library).2 Despite the suggested itinerary, Turner ultimately chose to enter Italy via the Pass of Mont Cenis. However, he did make a detour back into the Alps from Lake Como in order to see the newly built Simplon Pass and the vale of Domodossola (see the Turin, Como, Lugarno and Maggiore sketchbook and the Passage of the Simplon sketchbook, both Tate; Turner Bequest CLXXIV and CXCIV).3 Hakewill’s notes continue on folio 4 (D13865) and the content is also repeated to some extent on folio 38 verso (D13933).
Finberg 1909, p.496.
See 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, nos.1.34–1.37, pp.108–111, reproduced.
See Moorby 2009, p.114. The route has also been by confirmed by Federico Crimi, ‘Turner e il Verbano. Sulle vedute del Porta di Arona e dell’Isola Bella’, Verbanus, no.27, 2006, pp.177–202.