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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner An ?Italian City, with Towers and Fortifications c.1828-43

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
An ?Italian City, with Towers and Fortifications c.1828–43
Turner Bequest CCCXLI 243
Pencil on buff wove paper, 151 x 225 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram below right of centre
Inscribed in red ink ‘243’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXLI – 243’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This detailed view of a fortified town is unidentified, but may be Italian; see the Introduction to this section for further brief discussion and dating. Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry for this sheet gives the recto title as ‘Ruined fortifications on rock’ with the ‘Reverse’ as ‘View of city, with towers, &c.’.1 Although the present side was subsequently stamped with the Turner Bequest number usually reserved for the recto, it appears that he intended the secondary title to describe the view here; the other side is Tate D40332 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 243v), where less coherent ‘Ruined fortifications’ are shown.
Subsequent to the publication of his 1909 Inventory Finberg noted the undated suggestion of the Turner scholar C.F. Bell (1871–1966) that the subject might be Avignon or neighbouring Villeneuve,2 in the South of France, but the subject currently remains unconfirmed.

Matthew Imms
February 2016

Finberg 1909, II, p.1076.
See undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, vol.II, opposite p.1076.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘An ?Italian City, with Towers and Fortifications c.1828–43 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-an-italian-city-with-towers-and-fortifications-r1183013, accessed 18 May 2024.