Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views of Isola Bella, Lake Maggiore


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 121 × 195 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCIV 31 a

Catalogue entry

Federico Crimi has identified this page as containing two views of Isola Bella, one of the Borromean islands within the western arm of Lake Maggiore.1 Famous for its palazzo and elaborate terraced gardens the island made a picturesque subject for artists and Turner made several detailed studies in the Turin, Como, Lugarno, Maggiore sketchbook (see Tate D14293; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 76a). Despite being rather rough and schematic, these two views from are similar in composition to an earlier drawing by James Hakewill (1778–1843),2 Turner’s collaborator on the topographical publication, Picturesque Tour of Italy, 1820, the illustrations for which Turner was working on immediately prior to his departure for Italy in 1818–19. The viewpoint is from the south, from the Simplon Road between Baveno and Stresa on the south-western side of the lake.
For further sketches see folios 29 verso and 31 (D16945 and D16948).

Nicola Moorby
May 2011

Crimi 2007, p.30 and unpublished notes. Not the Swiss town of Brig near the Simplon Pass as previously suggested by Finberg 1909, p.578.
James Hakewill, Isola Bella, On Lago Maggiore from the South 1817 (British School at Rome Library), reproduced in Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.2.5, p.120.

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