Joseph Mallord William Turner

View on Lake Como; ?Villa d’Este, Cernobbio


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 48

Catalogue entry

Turner appears to have made at least two trips on Lake Como during his 1819 tour of Italy. The first of these, as documented by his sketchbook drawings, appears to have been a circular expedition which left the city of Como and followed the western perimeter of the lake by boat as far as Laglio before returning by road along the eastern shore of the western branch.1 This sketch depicts a view of part of the lake from the water and the subject is tentatively identified as the Villa d’Este, a Renaissance residence on the shores near Cernobbio, which at this time was the home of Caroline of Brunswick, the estranged wife of King George IV.2 A small part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 48 verso (D14235; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 47a).
For further sketches of Lake Como see folio 48 (D14234; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 47).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

See Crimi 2007, p.27.
Since 1873 the Villa d’Este has been a luxury hotel.

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