Joseph Mallord William Turner

The West End of the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, Bologna, with the Apennines Beyond; an Arch; a Bridge with a Distant Town or City


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 184 × 111 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 30 a

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Distant hills from steps of a buildings, &c.’), crossing out the last three words and adding: ‘Church of the Madonna di San Luca’.1 Made with the page turned vertically, this is a view from just below the curving Baroque west front of the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, looking south across the curving terrace forecourt to the southern of a pair of short curving arcades which terminate in open pavilions on a hexagonal plan. Beyond, in somewhat compressed form, lie the Apennine Mountains, parallel with the route Turner took as recorded in this sketchbook between Bologna and Ancona. There is a panoramic view of them on folio 35 verso (D14551; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 31a).
For Cecilia Powell’s general comments on Turner’s views of Bologna around the Madonna di San Luca (folios 32 verso–39 recto; D14545–D14558; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 28a–35), see under D14545.2 For more on the church, see under folio 42 recto (D14564; CLXXVI 38),3 and on the city generally and numerous views on adjacent pages, under folio 24 recto (D14532).
Above and to the right relative to the main view, separated by pencil lines, is a slight view of an arch, possibly that of the bridge in a still smaller sketch at the top right, with a town or city beyond. The word beside it, probably identifying it, is effectively illegible apart from its initial ‘R’.

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.517.
See Powell 1984, pp.92, 466 note 110, and Powell 1987, pp.25, 202 note 46.
See also Powell 1984, pp.84–6.

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