Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rocca di Angera Seen from Piazza del Popolo, Arona, Lake Maggiore


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 121 × 195 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCIV 26 a

Catalogue entry

After his expedition to the Simplon Pass, Turner returned to Italy where his route took him along the western shores of Lake Maggiore on the road to Milan. The location of this sketch is Arona, a town near the southern tip of the lake, and Turner’s viewpoint is the Piazza del Popolo, the old port and marketplace situated directly beside the water’s edge.1 The view looks north-east from the square towards the Rocca di Angera, a castle on a hill on the opposite side of the lake.
The medieval walls and crenallated gate towers visible within this sketch no longer survive. However, they can be seen in a later watercolour by Turner, Arona, Lago Maggiore circa 1828 (private collection).2

Nicola Moorby
May 2011

The sketch has previously been ttentatively identified as Domodossola or Arona, see Crimi 2007, p.36.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, no.730, reproduced. Compare also a print by Samuel Prout (1783–1852), Castle of Angero from Arona 1830.

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