Joseph Mallord William Turner

Trieste Harbour, with the Lighthouse and the Gulf Coast Beyond; Mountains ?near Graz

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 127 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D30123
Turner Bequest CCXCIX 64

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the main view is north-east from the south end Trieste’s harbour, across the gulf to the rugged coastline. The building on the left is in the old lazaretto area, since much altered; allowing for the slightness of the sketch, it may represent the south-east façade of the present Museo del Mare. The lighthouse, operational from 1833, still stands on its castellated base at the southern end of the harbour, but was superseded in the 1920s by the monumental Faro della Vittoria, north of the city.1 This is one of a sequence of views in and around the Adriatic port, made working inwards from the back of this sketchbook; see under folio 57 recto (D30109).2
Above is a rapid and somewhat shaky drawing of the ‘carriage sketch’ type, annotated with a few words. As Cecilia Powell has implied, the last may be ‘Graz’,3 referring to Turner’s next major stopping point (see under folio 41 verso; D30079) after passing through present-day Slovenia on his route inland north-east towards Vienna.
1
See ‘Fanale – Lanterna’, Istria on the Internet, accessed 23 April 2018, http://www.istrianet.org/istria//architecture/lighthouses/trieste-lanterna.htm.
2
See also Powell 1995, pp.66, 81 note 18.
3
See ibid., p.240.
Technical notes:
There is staining at the top centre from the leather pencil loop secured under the rear paste-down (D30129; Turner Bequest CCXCIX 67).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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