Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Sketches of Campo and the Balbianello Peninsula, Lake Como; and Part of a View of Como


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 186 × 111 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 60 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains four distinct sketches; three small studies parallel with the right-hand edge of the sketchbook, and one larger but rougher drawing which is a continuation of the landscape composition on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 62 (D14262; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 61).
The top three sketches all appear to be variant views of the same subject, inscribed by the artist as ‘Campo’. Federico Crimi has identified this location as the small village or frazione of Campo between Lenno and Sala Comacina on the western shore of Lake Como.1 Turner’s viewpoint is from the waters of the lake to the east, looking towards a headland upon which is built the Villa del Balbianello. Visible in the central vista are the twin campanili of the convent church from which the villa was developed during the late eighteenth century. A related study can be seen on folio 67 verso (D14273; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 66a), and there is also a later drawing dating from a trip to Como in 1842 or 1843 (Tate D34543; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV d 166v).
For a discussion of Turner’s sketches of Lake Como see folio 48 (D14234; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 47).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

Crimi 2007, p.28 note 31.

Read full Catalogue entry


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