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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Street Scene: ?Via Sant'Anselmo, Aosta, with the Porta Praetoria 1802

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Street Scene: ?Via Sant’Anselmo, Aosta, with the Porta Praetoria 1802
Turner Bequest LXXIV 1
Pencil on pale blue laid paper, 280 x 217 mm
Inscribed by the Executors of the Turner Bequest in ink ‘35 sketches in chalk & pencil’ and signed by Charles Turner in ink ‘C Turner’ and in pencil by John Prescott Knight and Charles Lock Eastlake in pencil ‘JPK and C.L.E.’ on right, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘LXXIV 1’ bottom left, descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg described this as the fly-leaf of the original sketchbook, a view supported by Peter Bower who notes the poor quality of the paper. It is different in type and colour to the other leaves from the book, once again probably French but from an unidentified maker and without watermark. It carries notes by the Executors of the Turner Bequest, referring to leaves found loose after Turner’s death, not having been included in the larger group bound in an album; see also the Introduction to the sketchbook.
Although a very slight outline, Turner’s sketch conjures up a lively street scene, perhaps the Via Sant’Anselmo, Aosta as the road seems to terminate in an arched wall and tower reminiscent of the Roman Porta Praetoria in that city. However, in handling the sketch is unlike the more finished drawings of Aosta from the book (D04501–D04503; Turner Bequest LXXIV 9–11) and closer to a sketch of a street in Martigny (D04580; Turner Bequest LXXIV 87).

David Blayney Brown
September 2011

How to cite

David Blayney Brown, ‘Street Scene: ?Via Sant’Anselmo, Aosta, with the Porta Praetoria 1802 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2011, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2014, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-street-scene-via-santanselmo-aosta-with-the-porta-praetoria-r1146364, accessed 23 June 2024.