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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner A ?Northern Italian or Swiss Town; Mountains c.1828-44

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A ?Northern Italian or Swiss Town; Mountains c.1828–44
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 192
Pencil on off-white wove paper prepared with a grey-brown wash, 140 x 191 mm
Inscribed by Tuner in pencil ‘[?R...o]’ bottom centre, upside down
Inscribed in red ink ‘192’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXLIV 192’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
There appear to be two subjects here, with a vigorous sketch of houses and roofs superimposed on a view of a mountain valley with a distant tower, presumably drawn first the other way up; Turner’s inscription appears to relate to the original scene. The subjects are unidentified, but may be in the north of Italy or neighbouring Switzerland; see the Introduction to this section for further brief discussion and dating.
There is another mountain drawing on the verso (D34587; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 192v); the views were made on one half of a folded sheet, with D34589 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 193v) opposite the present sketch and D34588 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 193) on its recto.
Finberg noted: ‘(Nos. [Turner Bequest CCCXLIV] 174–226 were among the contents of a parcel endorsed by Mr. [John] Ruskin, – “B. 2. Forty-eight pieces of paper, some double or 4-ple. Pencil outline, same class as B. 1.”).’1
Finberg 1909, II, p.1123.
Technical notes:
The unusually heavy textured paper matches that of another sheet used for similar subjects (Tate D34577–D34580; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 187–188v) and the two were originally one, having been folded into quarters and torn in half. One side appears to have been prepared with a light grey-brown wash.

Matthew Imms
February 2016

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘A ?Northern Italian or Swiss Town; Mountains c.1828–44 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2016, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2016, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-northern-italian-or-swiss-town-mountains-r1183061, accessed 27 May 2024.