Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches from the Road between Turin and Bofflora; One 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 40 a

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. The precise locations have not been identified but visible on this page are two separate drawings, both depicting sweeping views of the countryside. The upper vista includes some distant buildings or towns and the background is dominated by line of the Alps, indicating that Turner is looking north-west, possibly soon after his departure from Turin. The panoramic composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 42 (D14225; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 41).
The lower study contains a brief and largely illegible annotation which indicates that the artist was travelling by diligence, a large carriage which was the main public mode of transport in France and northern Italy. For a sketch depicting a diligence see the Paris, France, Savoy 2 sketchbook (Tate D14041; Turner Bequest CLXXIII 32a). Federico Crimi has discovered that the diligence trips between Turin and Milan ran three times weekly, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.1

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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