Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Ponte Veccchio, Cesena


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 42 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation. The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Bridge with tower’), inserting ‘Rimini?’.1 However, Cecilia Powell has identified the setting as Cesena2 (roughly twenty miles north-west of Rimini, which appears on subsequent pages). The three-arched Ponte Vecchio, with its prominent cutwaters, still spans the River Savio on the western approach to the city, but the fortified tower and Baroque gateway Turner shows beyond do not survive.
Other aspects of Cesena are shown on folios 51 recto, 52 verso–54 recto and 57 recto (D14581, D14583–D14586, D14591; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 47, 48a–50, 53). Powell has commented on the relatively uneventful phase of Turner’s journey between leaving Bologna and reaching Rimini (folios 43 recto–60 verso; D14566–D14598; CLXXVI 39a–56a);3 for his overall route south-east between Bologna and Ancona, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.
Separated by a vertical pencil line, at the left is a brief continuation of the view of Faenza on folio 47 recto opposite (D14574; CLXXVI 43).

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.518.
See Powell 1984, p.406.
Ibid., pp.89–90, 465 note 98.

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