Joseph Mallord William Turner

The West End of Milan Cathedral from the Piazza del Duomo

1819

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 x 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14327
Turner Bequest CLXXV 1 a

Catalogue entry

The right-hand third of the page is taken up with a continuation of the buildings and arcade formerly running along the north side of the square west of Milan Cathedral, seen in the full-page drawing on folio 2 recto opposite (D14328), under which other views of the city are noted. Immediately to its left is a profile of an architectural moulding, perhaps associated with the elaborate arches.
At the top centre are notes concerning local theatres; the format of the two passages suggests they were copied from signs or posters in the vicinity. Some of the words are clearer than others, but ‘Musica’ is mentioned on both bills, as well as ‘Ballo’ (dance) on the first, while the second refers to the Teatro Carcano, a theatre and opera house which remains open in Milan today. On the evidence of these notes and in the context of Turner’s wider interest in music and the theatre, Cecilia Powell has observed: ‘It is possible that Turner, like many other English visitors to the continent at this time, attended musical events in Italy’.1

Matthew Imms
March 2017

1
Powell 1982, p.17 note 13; see also Powell 1984, p.324, Powell 1987, pp.153, 207 note 83, and Powell 2001, p.207.

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