Joseph Mallord William Turner

The City and Harbour of Ancona, from below the Cathedral


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 76

Catalogue entry

The view continues across folio 79 verso opposite (D14634; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 75a), where Ancona is seen rising to the south-east. The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Harbour of Ancona’): ‘Panorama from the Cathedral’.1 From the alignment of a dome on the opposite page, Turner’s viewpoint appears to have been at about the first hairpin bend of the Via Papa Giovanni XXIII snaking down from the Cathedral of San Ciriaco.
Here the harbour stretches out below, bounded by the pier on its north side running west on the right with the Arch of Trajan, Arco Clementino and lighthouse aligned, and part of the Cittadella to the south at the gutter, with the Porta Pia silhouetted below it and hills stretching west on the far side of the bay beyond.
For Cecilia Powell and James Hamilton’s comments on Turner’s varied and extensive coverage of Ancona, which takes up most of the last quarter or so of this sketchbook, see under folio 69 verso (D14514; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 65a).2

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.519.
See Powell 1984, pp.92–3, 466 note 109, Powell 1987, pp.25, 202 note 45, and Hamilton 1997, pp.198, 325 note 13.

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