Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Caricature Sketches of a Man; and a View of Lake Nemi from Genzano


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 161 × 101 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXX 79 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s principal use for the Vatican Fragments sketchbook was to record details of art and architecture in Rome. However, he also made several studies of figures from life, and this page contains two swiftly executed comic drawings of a plump, squat man with a pug nose, who appears to be looking at a statue of a woman. Thornbury suggested that it was a caricature of Turner himself.1 Further sketches of people can be found on the inner front cover and on folios 6 verso, 14 verso, 15 verso, 33 verso, 64, 69, 80, 82 and 82 verso (D40619, D15114, D15130, D15132, D15167, D15223, D15228, D15245, D15249 and D15250; Turner Bequest CLXXX 5a, 13a, 14a, 32a, 63, 68, 79, 81 and 81a).
Turner also appears to have employed this sketchbook on several occasions during his journey to or from Naples and there is a landscape view in the bottom right-hand corner of the page depicting Lake Nemi, approximately eighteen miles south-east of Rome. Turner’s viewpoint is near the town of Genzano, looking north-east across the lake towards Nemi. Related sketches can be found on folios 1 verso, 6, 26 verso, 29 verso, 75 verso, 79 verso and 82 (D15106, D15113, D15154, D15160, D15236, D15244 and D15249; Turner Bequest CLXXX 1a, 5, 25a, 28a, 74a, 78a, and 81). For other studies of the area see the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15329; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 19) and the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15567; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 7).
The following page in the book has been ripped out and was not numbered by Finberg.

Nicola Moorby
December 2009

Thornbury 1877, p.478.

Read full Catalogue entry


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