Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Piazza Castello, Turin, with Palazzo Madama


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 32

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts a view of the Piazza Castello, the most important square in the historic city of Turin. A small part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 32 verso (D14207; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 31a). Turner’s viewpoint is the south-west corner of the piazza looking towards the Palazzo Madama, a castle dating from the 1400s which was originally converted from a fortified Roman gate and later, given an elaborate eighteenth-century front with Corinthian pilasters surmounted by a balustrade.1 The artist has made a careful study of the Baroque façade, including additional architectural notes and drawings at the top of the page. A similar but less detailed view can be found on folio 34 (D14210; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 33), and there is also a focused study of part of the façade on folio 33 verso (D14209; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 32a). For an alternative sketch of the castle from the east see folio 28 (D14198; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 27).

Nicola Moorby
December 2012

Today the building houses the collections of the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica.

Read full Catalogue entry

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