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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Ponte Romano, near Varzo 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 37 Recto:
Ponte Romano, near Varzo 1819
Turner Bequest CXCIV 37
Pencil and grey watercolour wash on white wove paper, 121 x 195 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘from North’ bottom right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘37’ top right, ascending right-hand edge
Stamped in black ‘CXCIV 37’ top right, ascending right-hand edge
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject of this sketch appears to be the Ponte Romano, a distinctive single arch Roman bridge which spans the Diveria river south of Varzo, near Crevoladossola.1 Popularly known as the ‘New Bridge’, the crossing was built around 1300 AD to replace the previous structure erected by Augustus. Turner passed the bridge en route from the Simplon between Gondo and Domodossola. A further sketch can be seen on folio 22 (D16930).

Nicola Moorby
May 2011

Compare the print after C. Hullmandel, Between Crevola and Gondo, in Views to Illustrate the Route of the Simplon, London 1822, pl.XXXII.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Ponte Romano, near Varzo 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2011, 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-ponte-romano-near-varzo-r1132831, accessed 06 December 2020.