Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches from the Road between Turin and Boffalora; Two with Distant Alps


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 41

Catalogue entry

The sketches on folios 41 verso–42 verso (D14224–D14226; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 40a–41a) appear to depict views of the landscape between Turin and Boffalora, seen during Turner’s journey en route to Milan. Tourists travelled by diligence, a large public carriage where the luggage was kept on the roof covered by canvas, and Federico Crimi has discovered that diligence trips between Turin and Milan ran three times weekly, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.1
This page contains four separate sketches. The lower two studies depict sweeping views of the countryside with the Alps in the distance. This indicates that Turner was looking north-west from the road to Milan, possibly from a location soon after his departure from Turin. The uppermost panoramic composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 41 verso (D14224; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 40a).
There are two further sketches in the top right-hand corner of the sheet. One represents a small study of an open cart or wagon, while the other depicts a location which, despite an annotation by the artist, currently remains unidentified.

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

Information from L’interprete milanese, ossia guida per l’anno 1823, Milan 1823. See Crimi 2007, p.25 note 22.

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