Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Duomo, Turin, from Piazza San Giovanni


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 30

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is a view of the Duomo (Cathedral) of Turin from Piazza San Giovanni. Turner’s viewpoint is the south-west corner of the piazza, standing beneath the historic porticoed arcades which once lined the square in front of the cathedral. These buildings were destroyed during the Second World War and the area is now principally the intersection of present-day Via XX Settembre and Via IV Marzo. The silhouette of the cathedral is only roughly indicated and has been left as a faint outline, although Turner has added a greater level of detail on the adjacent campanile and the surrounding buildings. However, the main focus of the drawing is in fact the bustle of human activity which is taking place in the foreground beneath the arches of the arcades. This appears to include a market with figures selling baskets and other wares.
For a more detailed sketch of the cathedral see folio 29 (D14200; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 28) while for a list of further sketches of Turin see folio 12 (D14166; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 11).

Nicola Moorby
December 2012

Read full Catalogue entry


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