Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of Spoleto


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 110 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 42 a

Catalogue entry

The Umbrian town of Spoleto lies thirteen miles from Foligno, approximately half-way on the nineteenth-century route between Ancona and Rome. The picturesque properties of the town with its impressive range of architecture and dramatic location amidst the foothills of the Apennines led him to make a large number of sketches. This page contains two distinct studies. Most of the sheet is devoted to part of a panoramic view of the town from the road to the south, see folio 43 (D14736). The building in the foreground with a Romanesque dome and lantern is a church near the southern crossing of the River Tessino. Spoleto rises on the slopes of the hill beyond. The second sketch has been drawn with the sketchbook held vertically like a notebook. The subject is the view looking down the course of the river from the valley to the north-east of the Ponte delle Torri. In the foreground is the ruined Roman bridge, the Ponte Sanguinario, whilst on the right is part of the church and monastery of San Ponziano. A similar view can be found on folio 41 verso (D14733).

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

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