Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of Italian Figures Including a Rider; a Machicolated Turret; a Horse and Cart; the Coast near Ancona


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 1

Catalogue entry

At the top is an array of figure studies showing everyday Italian characters including rider, a man in a tricorn hat, a woman carrying a basket and figures tending a faintly indicated pig. Somewhat incongruously, among them towards the right is a machicolated turret from an unidentified building (not apparently Ferrara’s Castello Estense, shown inside the front cover opposite; D40895). At the bottom right, lightly drawn with the page turned vertically, is a horse and two-wheeled cart. There are similar figure studies on the verso (D14490), and there are others on folios 14 recto, 17 recto, 27 verso and 90 verso and inside the back cover (D14513, D14519, D14539, D14652; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 14, 17, 26e, 86a; D40897), while folio 22 verso (D14530) comprises studies of a calf or calves and a cow.
Below is a hilly view perhaps representing Turner’s first impression of the approach south-east along the Adriatic coast to Ancona, the city’s name apparently being scrawled at the bottom left, perhaps in a moving carriage; compare folios 67 recto, 68 verso and 69 recto (D14609, D14612–D14613; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 63, 64a, 65); for Ancona itself, see under folio 69 verso (D14614; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 65a).

Matthew Imms
March 2017

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