Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches by Turner of Figures and a Landscape; 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: 114 × 88 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXI 20

Catalogue entry

This inscription represents advice to Turner on travelling in Italy in preparation for the artist’s first tour of the country in 1819. The author is James Hakewill (1778–1843), with whom Turner collaborated on the engraved print project, Picturesque Tour of Italy, published 1820 (see the introduction to the sketchbook). The text was first transcribed by Finberg,1 and is repeated here with minor variations:
Great Theatre –
Theatre del Sole –
Mezzofanti } two professors of
Scandilari } Languages. both
  speak English well.
New burial ground or Campo Santo
lately the Convent of the Certosa (Chertosa)
don’t go the Ferrara road to Venice
’tis very bad –
Hakewill’s comments, which refer to places and people of interest in Bologna, lead on from folio 19 (D13893) and continue on folio 21 (D13897). His suggestions are based upon his own Italian travels of 1816–17 and a view of the city from the Convent of the Certosa can be found amidst his drawings from the time (British School at Rome Library).2 Turner visited Bologna as part of his outward route to Rome and a sketch of the Certosa cemetery appears in the Venice to Ancona sketchbook (Tate D14565; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 38a). Despite Hakewill’s warning on the condition of the road, he opted to journey via Ferrara from Venice.
In addition to Hakewill’s notes, Turner has also used the page to make a number of swift pencil studies of figures and an unidentified landscape scene. He has annotated the drawings with colour notations.

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

Finberg 1909, p.498.
Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, nos.2.64, p.182, reproduced.

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