Joseph Mallord William Turner

Piazza d’Italia, Turin, with Santa Croce

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 111 × 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14212
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 34

Catalogue entry

As Turner’s inscriptions indicate this sketch depicts a square in Turin called Piazza d’Italia, an area which has undergone various topographical changes since the early nineteenth century and is now part of the larger Piazza della Repubblica.1 The artist has made a detailed study of the architecture of the square including the dome and campanile of the Church of Santa Croce rising at the back.2 He did not have quite enough room on the sheet to complete the full height of the cupola of the church and therefore made a separate sketch of this detail on the far right-hand side. A small part of the composition depicting the nearby Porta Palatina spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 34 verso (D14211; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 33a).
For a list of further sketches of Turin see folio 12 (D14166; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 11).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

1
A map of 1834 shows Piazza d’Italia to the north-west of the historic centre, situated at the southern end of ‘Piazza di Emanuele Filiberto’, formerly Piazza Vittoria and now present-day Piazza della Repubblica. The area is now used as a marketplace. Map is reproduced on-line at http://taurinorum.com/FotoLibri/Torino-1834.gif, accessed January 2013.
2
Santa Croce has also undergone significant chances and is now known as the Basilica Mauritiana.

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