Joseph Mallord William Turner

Various Sketches of Porlezza, Lake Lugano


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 70

Catalogue entry

This page contains a number of sketches of varying sizes, all of which appear to depict Porlezza, a town on Lake Lugano. Turner had crossed from Lake Como by road through the Val Menaggio and arrived at Porlezza where he appears to have continued his journey around Lake Lugano by boat. This is confirmed by the largest study on this page which depicts the town from the waters of the lake.1 The artist visited and sketched Porlezza a second time during a later Italian tour around 1842 (see Tate D34526 and D34553; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV d 158 and 171v).
For further sketches of Lake Lugano from 1819 see folios 71 verso–73 verso (D14281–D14285; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 70a–72a).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

For a comparable view see ‘Vedute di Porlezza sul Lago di Lugano’ in Viaggio Pittorico e Storico ai Tre Laghi Maggiore, di Lugano e Como, Milan 1818, reproduced online at, accessed January 2013.

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