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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Piazza della Signoria, Florence, with the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 37 Recto:
Piazza della Signoria, Florence, with the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi 1819
D16554
Turner Bequest CXCI 37
Pencil on white wove paper, 189 x 113 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘90 | 39 50 [?high]’ top right. Also ‘6’, ‘8’, ‘12’, ‘13’, ‘20’ within sketch of Palazzo Vecchio
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘37’ top right, ascending right-hand edge [very faint]
Stamped in black ‘CXCI 37’ top right, ascending right-hand edge
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
One of the most famous areas in Florence is the Piazza della Signoria, the historic political centre of the city. This sketch depicts the south-eastern corner of the square which is dominated by two important buildings: on the left the Palazzo Vecchio (the Florentine town hall, also know as the Palazzo della Signoria); and on the right the Loggia dei Lanzi (also known as the Loggia della Signoria), a famous arcade used for the display of antique and Renaissance sculpture. Just visible within the narrow street beyond is the Uffizi gallery, whilst situated in the foreground are the equestrian statue of Cosimo I de’Medici by Giambologna (1529–1608), and the Fountain of Neptune by Bartolomeo Ammannati (1511–1592). Turner has exercised his usual economic approach within the drawing and, instead of fully delineating every detail of the Palazzo Vecchio, has simply noted the number of times the windows, crenellations and other architectural features are repeated along the façade.
Jan Piggott has linked the sketch with a later watercolour vignette study for Rogers’s Italy (see Tate D27539; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 22).1 The illustration depicts the same architectural features but from a different angle.
1
Piggott 1993, p.95.
Verso:
Blank

Nicola Moorby
December 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Piazza della Signoria, Florence, with the Palazzo Vecchio and the Loggia dei Lanzi 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-piazza-della-signoria-florence-with-the-palazzo-vecchio-and-r1138447, accessed 22 August 2019.