Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sacra di San Michele, from the West

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
D14156
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 6

Catalogue entry

This rough, schematic sketch of a building perched on a spur of rock represents the Sacra di San Michele, in the Val di Susa.1 Founded during the tenth century, the abbey stands on Mount Pirchiriano, near Avigliana and is a distinctive landmark in this part of the Susa Valley. Turner’s view depicts the distant abbey on the approach from the road to the west, seen while travelling between Susa and Turin at the start of his 1819 Italian tour. Further sketches can be seen on folios 8– 9 verso (D14158–D14161; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 7–8a).

Nicola Moorby
December 2012

1
Suggested by Federico Crimi, see Crimi 2007, p.23 note 16.

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