Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Arcade to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, with Bologna in the Distance


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 35

Catalogue entry

The viewpoint is within the arcade leading to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, looking north-east to Bologna with the Torre Asinelli dominating the city’s skyline. See the more detailed background of the view from beside the arches on folio 38 recto (D14556; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 34). The idea of a wide vista opening out beyond a receding arcaded space is comparable with that realised in the major painting Rome, from the Vatican, exhibited in 1820 (Tate N00503),1 and an elaborate associated ink drawing (Tate D16368; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 41).
For Cecilia Powell’s general comments on Turner’s views of Bologna from a distance and around the Sanctuary (folios 32 verso–39 recto; D14545–D14558; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 28a–35), see under D14545;2 for the arcade and the Sanctuary itself, under folio 42 recto (D14564; CLXXVI 38);3 and for Bologna in general and numerous views on adjacent pages, under folio 24 recto (D14532).

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.137–8 no.228, pl.231 (colour).
See Powell 1984, pp.92, 466 note 110, and Powell 1987, pp.25, 202 note 46.
See also Powell 1984, pp.84–6.

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