Joseph Mallord William Turner

Piazza Grande, Arezzo


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCI 29 a

Catalogue entry

Cecilia Powell identified the subject of this sketch as the Piazza Grande (also known as the Piazza Vasari), Arezzo.1 This medieval public square lies near the northern edge of the city and is surrounded by a number of important civic buildings. Turner’s study depicts the western side of the piazza, dominated by the Romanesque apse and tower of the Church of Santa Maria della Pieve. To the right are the Palazzo del Tribune and the Palazzo della Fraternita dei Laici (Palace of the Lay Fraternity), whilst on the far right-hand side is an oblique view of the arcades of the Palazzo delle Logge, built during the sixteenth century by Giorgio Vasari. The rough nature of the drawing and the confusing overlapping indistinctness of some of the buildings suggest that the artist may have been working very swiftly from a moving vehicle.
For further views of Arezzo see folios 27, 81 and 88 verso (D16535, D16622 and D16634).

Nicola Moorby
November 2010

Powell 1984, p.429.

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