Joseph Mallord William Turner

Notes by Turner on Italy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 114 × 88 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXI 5 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains inscriptions by Turner on places in Italy, possibly notes derived from a travel guide, or memoranda jotted down in conversation with James Hakewill (see the introduction to the sketchbook). Venice and Tivoli were amongst the many locations included on his 1819 tour of the country. As Cecilia Powell and James Hamilton have both noted, the artist’s mention here of Palestrina may represent his intention to visit this ancient city, approximately twenty miles east of Rome.1 Yet despite it forming the subject of a later finished oil painting, Palestrina – Composition, 1828 (Tate N06283),2 there are no identifiable sketches within either the 1819 or 1828 sketchbooks, suggesting that he may never have gone there. For a further discussion see folio 28 (D13911).

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

Powell 1984, p.331 note 132 and Hamilton 2009, p.69.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, no.295.

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