Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Sketches of Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore; and a ?View of the Borromean Gulf

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 111 × 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14297
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 78 a

Catalogue entry

Federico Crimi has identified the three sketches at the top of this page as studies of the Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore.1 The drawing on the left depicts a statue and other decorative elements within the Teatro Massimo, an elaborate wall decorated with sculptures and grottoes which forms the northern side of the terraced pyramid at the heart of the garden’s design. Meanwhile the central and right-hand sketches represent details from the so-called ‘Giardino d’Amore’ (Garden of Love). For a more detailed discussion of Turner’s sketches of Isola Bella see folio 77 verso (D14293; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 76a).
Also on this page is an inverted landscape sketch. The details are too rough to be conclusively identified although they are likely to depict a view of the Borromean Gulf, within Lake Maggiore.2

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

1
Crimi 2009, p.64.
2
Ibid.

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