Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of the Ferry over the Garigliano River; and Landscape Studies on the Road to Capua, Including a Distant View of Sessa Aurunca


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 × 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 30 a

Catalogue entry

As Finberg first identified, the two sketches parallel with the left-hand edge of this page represent views of the ferry over the Garigliano river which formed part of the nineteenth-century route between Formia and Capua to Naples.1 Compare Turner’s on-the-spot studies of the buildings on the banks of the river with his thumbnail pen-and-ink copy of a view after John ‘Warwick’ Smith in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (Tate D13968; Turner Bequest CLXXII 20, bottom right). As so often during his Italian travels, the colours of the landscape appear to have reminded him of the paintings of the seventeenth-century French artist, Claude Lorrain (circa 1604/5–82). Related studies can also be seen on folio 31 (D15615; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 30).
The remaining three drawings represent landscape views seen from the next stage of the journey east towards Capua. The central sketch is a distant view of the town of Sessa Aurunca. The vistas spill over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 32 (D15617; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 31).

Nicola Moorby
April 2010

Finberg 1909, p.543.

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