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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sketches of Female Figures; and a View of Nemi 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 82 Recto:
Sketches of Female Figures; and a View of Nemi 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXX 81
Pencil on white wove paper, 161 x 101 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘green’ to right of central figure at top and ‘green’ in centre of two sketches underneath. Also ‘Nemi’ bottom right of inverted sketch
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘81’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXX 81’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner’s principal use for the Vatican Fragments sketchbook was to record details of art and architecture in Rome. However, he also made several studies of figures from life, and this page contains several swiftly executed sketches of women, one of whom is carrying a baby. He was particularly interested in details of costume and dress, and the studies are annotated with colour notes referring to particular items of clothing. Further sketches of people can be found on the inner front cover and on folios 6 verso, 14 verso, 15 verso, 33 verso, 64, 69, 80, 80 verso and 82 verso (D40619, D15114, D15130, D15132, D15167, D15223, D15228, D15245, D15246 and D15250; Turner Bequest CLXXX 5a, 13a, 14a, 32a, 63, 68, 79, 79a and 81a).
The artist also appears to have employed this sketchbook on several occasions during his journey to or from Naples. The inscription within the inverted landscape view at the bottom of the page identifies the location as the town and lake of Nemi, approximately eighteen miles south-east of Rome. Related vistas can be seen on folio 1 verso (D15106), and in the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15572–D15573; Turner Bequest 9a–10). Further sketches of Nemi can be found on folios 6, 26 verso, 29 verso, 75 verso, 79 verso and 80 verso (D15113, D15154, D15160, D15236, D15244 and D15246; Turner Bequest CLXXX 1a, 5, 25a, 28a, 74a, 78a and 79a), as well as in the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (see Tate D15329; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 19) and the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (see Tate D15567; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 7).

Nicola Moorby
December 2009

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Sketches of Female Figures; and a View of Nemi 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2009, 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-female-figures-and-a-view-of-nemi-r1139661, accessed 21 April 2021.