Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of the Church of San Paolo at Albano


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 26 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is the campanile of the Church of San Paolo in Albano seen from the grounds of the convent of the Cappuccini. The clock on the tower appears to show that the time is approaching 1pm. Turner’s viewpoint is the same as that in folio 1 verso (D15297). The viewpoint also mirrors that of a watercolour by Richard Colt Hoare, View of Albano 1787 (Thomas Ashby Collection, Vatican Library) 1 and in a coloured aquatint by John Izard Middleton published in Grecian Remains in Italy: A Description of Cyclopian Walls and of Roman Antiquities, with Topographical and Picturesque Views of Ancient Latium, London 1812.2.
Despite Turner’s eagerness to find evidence of Claude Lorrain in the Italian landscape, the artist uppermost in his mind when exploring the Alban Hills seems to have been the Welsh landscape painter Richard Wilson (1713–1782). Turner inscribed his name several times in this sketchbook, see folios 15 verso, 28 verso and 58 verso (D15322, D15348 and D15407; Turner Bequest 57a).
The far right-hand side contains part of the sketch from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 27 (D15345).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

Reproduced in colour in Raymond Keaveney, Views of Rome from the Thomas Ashby Collection in the Vatican Library, exhibition catalogue, Smithsonian Institution, Washington 1988, p.279.
Reproduced Charles R. Mack and Lyn Robertson (ed), The Roman Remains: John Izard Middleton’s Visual Souvenirs of 1820–1823 with Additional Views in Italy, France and Switzerland, South Carolina 1997, p.21. See also a drawing of a similar view by Charles Joseph Lecointe, see Francesco Petrucci e Susanna Marra, Vedute dei Colli Albani e di Roma dall’album di viaggio di Charles Joseph Lecointe (1824–1886), exhibition catalogue, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia 2006, no.16, p.34, reproduced.

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