Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of Italian Figures and their Costumes ?at Bologna, a Horse-Drawn Cart, and Boats on the River Po


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 86 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, at the centre and right are overlapping studies of figures in a horse-drawn cart and various small boats noted as being ‘on the Po’. Compare folio 10 verso (D14507), which appears to record a scene on the river, presumably somewhere along the northern approach to Ferrara (see inside the front cover; D40895); for other studies of boats, see under folio 7 verso (D14501).
Along the lop and at the centre left are numerous candid studies of people sitting or going about their business, taking particular note of their costumes, with scattered colour notes. They include figures carrying bundles and using a yoke, a soldier, and perhaps priests and merchants in long cloaks. What appears to be another such study at the bottom right, made with the page turned vertically, is labelled ‘Bol’, probably indicating Bologna, which Turner recorded extensively (see under folio 24 recto; D14532).
For the few other pages with figure studies in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 recto (D14489), and for Cecilia Powell’s comments on Turner’s very few sketches after leaving Venice until his arrival at Bologna, see under folio 21 verso (D14528).1

Matthew Imms
March 2017

See Powell 1984, pp.82, 462 notes 62 and 63, and Powell 1987, pp.24, 202 note 39.

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