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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sacra di San Michele, from the West 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 8 Recto:
Sacra di San Michele, from the West 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 7
Pencil on white wove paper, 111 x 186 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘284’ top right and ‘7’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXIV 7’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This rough, schematic sketch of a building perched on a spur of rock represents the Sacra di San Michele, in the Val di Susa.1 Founded during the tenth century, the abbey stands on Mount Pirchiriano, near Avigliana and is a distinctive landmark in this part of the Susa Valley. Turner’s view depicts the distant abbey on the approach from the road to the west, seen while travelling between Susa and Turin at the start of his 1819 Italian tour. He has further embellished the page with a separate, more detailed study of the architecture of the complex. Further sketches can be seen on folios 7 and 8 verso–9 verso (D14156 and D14159–D14161; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 6 and 7a–8a).

Nicola Moorby
December 2012

Suggested by Federico Crimi, see Crimi 2007, p.23 note 16.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Sacra di San Michele, from the West 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2012, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-sacra-di-san-michele-from-the-west-r1142681, accessed 23 May 2024.