The first major Italian city which Turner reached on his 1819 tour was Turin. Here he made a significant number of sketches, reflecting not only his interest in the topography and architecture of Turin, but also the fact that he stayed in the city for a few days, allowing himself time to roam about the streets and sketch at greater leisure than was possible on the road.
The subject of this sketch is part of a view of Turin from the western (left) bank of the River Po. Turner’s viewpoint looks down-river (north) towards the Ponte Vittorio Emanuele I, a bridge which had only recently been built at the start of the nineteenth century and completed in 1814. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 27 (D14196; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 26). For a similar contemporaneous view see a drawing by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Turin. The New Bridge, Superga, and Capuchin Convent (British School at Rome).1
For further sketches of Turin see folio 12 (D14166; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 11).
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.2.16, p.132, reproduced.