Joseph Mallord William Turner

The North-West Corner of Milan Cathedral, Looking South

1819

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 × 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14333
Turner Bequest CLXXV 5

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Part of the Cathedral, Milan’): ‘steps of West front’.1 The sculptures and high-relief panels at the western end of Milan Cathedral’s north side remain as carefully recorded here, although the buildings around the piazza have been much altered or replaced.
The group of figures on the steps and towards the bottom right may be taking part in a religious procession like the one Turner showed in the currently untraced watercolour Milan of about 1833,2 engraved in 1835 for Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon (Tate impressions: T04741, T04742, T04976, T06268). See under folio 2 recto (D14328) for other Milan views.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

1
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.512.
2
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.431 no.1111.

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