Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Lake Albano Looking towards Castel Gandolfo


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 7 a

Catalogue entry

Turner circled Lake Albano and made sketches from several different points. This drawing shows the view from the eastern shore of the lake looking across towards the dome of the Church of San Tommaso di Villanova, Castel Gandolfo. He has also noted a small group of figures around an area of the road which he has labelled as a ‘Fountain’. Amidst the lush greenery surrounding the lake, and the deep blue of the water itself, the ‘Red’ of a woman’s dress would have made a pleasing complementary splash of colour to Turner’s artistic eye. In his later watercolour, Lake Albano circa 1828 (private collection), the red bodice of the peasant woman, or contadina, in the foreground serves the same aesthetic purpose.1 The scene is continued briefly on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 8 (D15309).
For a full discussion of Turner’s depictions of Lake Albano see folio 3 verso (D15301) and the general introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

Fribourg 1979, no.731.

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