Joseph Mallord William Turner

View across the Plain to the East of Narni, from near the Porta della Fiera


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 60 a

Catalogue entry

The town of Narni occupies the crest of a hill approximately seven miles south-west of Terni, and fifty miles north of Rome. As was often the case during Turner’s travels, his mode of travelling did not give him much opportunity to stop and explore the centre of the town. The carriage simply followed a predetermined course in an anti-clockwise direction from east to south-west around the walled perimeter. Consequently Turner’s sketches of Narni only relate to views or subjects visible from the road such as the edges of the town and the Bridge of Augustus in the gorge below.
This sketch depicts a view from a point just outside the walls at the northern tip of the town, near the Porta Pollela and the Porta della Fiera. The panorama looks east across the valley with the River Nera snaking across the plain and the hills surrounding Terni beyond, and the building in the middle distance on the far right is the church and castle of San Girolamo. The drawing continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 61 (D14771). Today the picturesque beauty of the view has been completely transformed by the industrialisation of the area around the new town of Narni Scalo.

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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