Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of Itri, from the Via Appia


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 197 × 122 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 24 a

Catalogue entry

The sketches on this page represent the historic city of Itri, located amidst the Arunci mountains on the nineteenth century between Rome and Naples.1 As Turner’s drawings show, the western approach on the Via Appia from Fondi presented a picturesque prospect, particularly when seen from a distance. The topography is dominated by the towers of the castle, comprised of one square and one polygonal, as well as one circular connected by a curtain wall sloping down the hill. Also silhouetted on the left is the campanile of the Church of San Michele Arcangelo. Compare a contemporaneous view by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Town and Castle of Itri 1816 (British School at Rome Library), which Turner may have seen.2 Much of Itri was devastated by Allied bombing during the Second World War. For an alternative view from the south-east see folio 26 (D15605; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 25) and the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15952–D15953; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 22–22a).

Nicola Moorby
April 2010

See photograph in Consociazione Turistica Italiana, Attraverso Italia Illustrazione delle Regioni Italiane: Lazio, vol.11, Milan 1943, p.190, fig.44.
Reproduced in 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, no.5.38, p.264.

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