Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of a Road within Mountains; and One of a Church above a Lake, ?near Avigliana

1820

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 128 × 98 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16646
Turner Bequest CXCII 3 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains three sketches. The upper two vistas depict a road winding through mountainous landscape with a couple of buildings visible in each scene. Although the precise locations have not been identified, they are likely to represent views on the Piedmont side of the approach towards the Mont Cenis pass.
The bottom study appears to show a church with a bell-tower situated at the top of a steep slope above a lake, possibly one of the two crater lakes of Avigliana in the Susa Valley (see Tate D14164; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 10). Turner’s inscription ‘Like Wilson | Ld Eg’ indicates that the prospect reminded him of a painting by the eighteenth-century Welsh artist, Richard Wilson (1713–82) which he had seen at Petworth House in the collection of his friend and patron, Lord Egremont. The picture he had in mind must have been View on the Arno, date unknown (National Trust, Petworth House),1 which has a similar composition of a lake on the left and a tower on a hill on the right.2

Nicola Moorby
April 2013

1
W.G. Constable, Richard Wilson, London 1953, pl.100a.
2
Information supplied by Andrew Loukes, House and Collections Manager, Petworth House. Email correspondence with the author, April 2013.

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