Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches by Turner of a View of Foligno, and a Figure Carrying a Pot; and Notes by James Hakewill on Travelling in Italy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 88 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXI 18

Catalogue entry

According to the artist’s annotation, the swift, rough sketch of buildings on this page depicts a view of Foligno, a town in Umbria which Turner passed through after leaving the Apennine Mountains en route to Rome. Further drawings can be found on folio 20 verso (D13896), as well as in the Ancona to Rome sketchbook (see Tate D14718 CLXXVII 34). He has also used the sheet to make a study of a figure shouldering a large pot.
The page also contains an inscription by James Hakewill (1778–1843), part of his advice to Turner on travelling in Italy in preparation for the artist’s first tour of the country in 1819 (see the introduction to the sketchbook). The text, which continues the list of things to see in Naples from folio 17 (D13889), was first transcribed by Finberg,1 and reads ‘The Studii or Royal Academy | for the Farnese Hercules &c. &c. | The unrolling the papyri.’ The Farnese Hercules (Museo Archeologico Nazionale) is one of the most famous statues of classical antiquity and was widely admired and sketched by British artists on the Grand Tour.2 There are no known studies of it by Turner, but probably like the Laocoön in Rome and Michelangelo’s David in Florence, it was so famous and widely reproduced that the artist did not feel the need to devote time to drawing it.

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

Finberg 1909, p.497.
For example see Richard Dalton (1715/20–1791), The Farnese Hercules 1742 (Tate, T08241) and Joseph Highmore (1692–1780), Sketchbook of Figure Studies (Tate, T04235–T04236).

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