J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?A Lock on the River Po near Ferrara; Studies of Adriatic Sailing Boats 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 10 Verso:
?A Lock on the River Po near Ferrara; Studies of Adriatic Sailing Boats 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 10a
Pencil on white wove paper, 184 x 111 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘[?Lock of the Po]’ top centre, ‘Fishing Boats and G[...] Adratica’ centre right, and ‘Each Boat the | sail has a Long Yard | to keep the sail taught | full tho beyond the Boat and no [?Sheet]’ below centre, below boats
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Made with the page turned vertically, the drawings here appear to be separate from those of Venice on adjacent pages. The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘A view with groups of fishing boats’): ‘“Lock on the Po”’.1 He marked Finberg’s similar text in In Venice with Turner (1930) in the same way.2 Bell’s reading of Turner’s inscription is plausible, and the upper scene may have been made somewhere along the River Po on the northern approach to Ferrara (see inside the front cover; D40895). The river is clearly noted at the back of the book, on folio 90 verso (D14652; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 86a).
The various boats below including fishing craft, with detailed written notes, could have been observed on the river, earlier at Venice or later along the Adriatic coast towards Ancona (see under folio 69 verso; D14614; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 65a). For other such studies, see under folio 7 verso (D14501).

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.516.
Undated MS note by Bell (before 1936) in copy of Finberg 1930, Prints and Drawings Study Room, British Museum, London, p.167, as transcribed by Ian Warrell (undated notes, Tate catalogue files).

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?A Lock on the River Po near Ferrara; Studies of Adriatic Sailing Boats 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2017, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, July 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-lock-on-the-river-po-near-ferrara-studies-of-adriatic-r1186242, accessed 28 May 2024.