Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Genzano and Lake Nemi


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 21 a

Catalogue entry

Cecilia Powell has identified the subject of this sketch as Genzano, one of the ‘Castelli Romani’, sixteen communes within the Alban Hills, situated on the high western shore above Lake Nemi.1 Turner’s viewpoint is a spot to the south-east of the town looking up towards the church and bell-tower of Santa Maria della Cima with the tree-lined road leading towards Ariccia in the background. A corner of the Palazzo Sforza Cesarini is just visible at the right-hand edge of the town. Similar views can be found on folios 22 verso and 24 verso (D15336 and D15340).The town was badly damaged by bombing during the Second World War and apart from the surviving church, the prospect today looks very different.
The panorama of the lake continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 22, (D15335). For a general discussion of Turner’s view of Lake Nemi see folio 19 (D15329).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

Powell 1984, p.422.

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