Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Coast of the Gulf of Trieste; Hilly Landscapes; a Steamer in a Harbour; Two Women in Traditional Costume

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 127 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30129
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 67

Catalogue entry

The page was largely used horizontally, and contains various landscape sketches, likely including the coast of the Gulf of Trieste, as on adjacent pages. A sequence of views in and around the Adriatic port city runs inwards from this end of the sketchbook; see under folio 57 recto (D30109).1 At the top centre there appears to be a quayside scene, likely at Trieste, with the tall, smoking funnel of a steamer.
There are also slight landscape sketches with distant spires and towers, two being in red chalk (the only use of the medium in this book); those at the gutter, including one with a cupola at the bottom left, continue a little way onto folio 66 verso opposite (D30128).
At the left, with the book turned vertically, are two women seen from the back, wearing what is likely traditional Slovenian costume, with full skirts and long white headscarves. Cecilia Powell noted them ‘with baskets’,2 but such elements are unclear. Compare a study of Tyrolean women in the contemporary Rotterdam to Venice sketchbook (Tate D32322; Turner Bequest CCCXX 31a).
1
See also Powell 1995, pp.66, 81 note 18.
2
Ibid., p.240.
Technical notes:
The page is effectively the rear paste-down, although it is numbered and stamped in sequence with the book’s leaves, implying that it was itself previously free. A strip of about 3 mm of an underlying sheet is visible at the fore-edge, below which the central leather pencil loop is secured, and seems to have been the paste-down as originally bound.
The accessioned page is creased and torn, with jagged losses at the corners and both shorter edges, and was presumably pasted down over the endpaper to secure it from further damage. There is brown staining at the top centre from the underlying loop.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Read full Catalogue entry

Explore

You might like

In the shop