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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Buildings near Milan Cathedral; a Figure 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 14 Recto:
Buildings near Milan Cathedral; a Figure 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXV 14
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 185 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘14’ top right and ‘300’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXV 14’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The urban buildings on the left are relatively undistinguished, but the key to their setting is the slight indication of a taller structure with pinnacles beyond. This appears to be a first attempt at a view south-west to the lantern spire of Milan Cathedral along what is now Corso Vittorio Emanuele II.
Turner abandoned the drawing and started again on folio 15 recto (D14347), this time with the page turned vertically to allow for the full height of the spire, with what appear to be the same buildings in the foreground, albeit in less detail. See under folio 2 recto (D14328), showing the west front of the cathedral, for other Milan views.
At the outer edge is a slight study of a figure in a broad-brimmed hat, made with the page turned vertically; other figure studies in this sketchbook are note under folio 18 verso (D14351).

Matthew Imms
March 2017

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Buildings near Milan Cathedral; a Figure 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-buildings-near-milan-cathedral-a-figure-r1186459, accessed 19 May 2024.