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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sketches of an Italian Woman and a Roadside Altar; Also Two Views of a Hilltop Town ?near Fondi 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Inside Front Cover:
Sketches of an Italian Woman and a Roadside Altar; Also Two Views of a Hilltop Town ?near Fondi 1819
D40949
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Capua’, ‘Blue’, ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ beside sketch of woman bottom left and ‘Carminæ EAUSTAE | ASS[?NNIGSUADMT] | [M, CorNEL...]’ to right of sketch of monument bottom left, both parallel with left-hand edge. Also ‘Blue’, ‘P Red’ and ‘Mt Celia | Fondi’ within sketch of castle on hill, bottom right, inverted
Numbered ‘245’ as part of the Turner Schedule in 1854 and endorsed by the Executors of the Turner Bequest, inscribed in black ink ‘No.245 Containing 89 leaves | Pencil Sketches. most on both sides. | H.S. Trimmer | C. Turner’ and initialled in pencil by Charles Lock Eastlake ‘C.L.E.’ and John Prescott Knight, ‘JPK’ top right
Inscribed by unknown hand(s) in pencil ‘56’ and ‘CLXXXVI’ top left
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner has used the inside cover of the sketchbook for several slight sketches including one of a figure in the costume of an Italian contadina or peasant woman. The artist has annotated the study ‘Capua’, a town to the north of Naples. There is also a drawing of a small structure with a peaked roof and an accompanying Latin inscription, possibly a roadside altar or tabernacle.
Inverted on the sheet are two sketches depicting a hilltop town amidst mountains. The location remains unidentified although Turner’s handwritten inscriptions suggest that they may depict the line of the Ausoni mountains from Fondi, a town on the Via Appia between Terracina and Formia, Turner’s handwritten inscription appears to read ‘Mt Celia’ although there is no peak of this name visible within the area. Related views can be found on folios 1 verso, 52 verso and 57 verso (D15909, D16011 and D16019; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 1a, 50a and 55a).

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Sketches of an Italian Woman and a Roadside Altar; Also Two Views of a Hilltop Town ?near Fondi 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 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-sketches-of-an-italian-woman-and-a-roadside-altar-also-two-r1137833, accessed 26 January 2022.