Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Harbour and Lighthouse at 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 79 a

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Ancona’): ‘from the ascent to the Cathedral’.1 The viewpoint appears to be along what is now the stretch of the Via Papa Giovanni XXIII descending north-west from the hairpin bend beside the church of Santi Pellegrino e Teresa south of the Cathedral of San Ciriaco, here looking west to the lighthouse which formerly stood towards the end of the pier on the north side of the harbour, with its beacon bisecting the skyline of the far side of the bay.
At the near end of the pier is the Arch of Trajan, with the less conspicuous Arco Clementino beyond. The harbour infrastructure has undergone significant development since, and the buildings in the middle distance do not survive; nor do those towards the foot of the hill in the foreground. There is a similar albeit slighter view, seemingly from higher up and nearer the church, on folio 82 recto (D14639; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 78).
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 James Hamilton, Turner: A Life, London 1997, p.198.

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