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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Studies of Italian Figures and their Costumes ?at Bologna, a Horse-Drawn Cart, and Boats on the River Po 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 90 Verso:
Studies of Italian Figures and their Costumes ?at Bologna, a Horse-Drawn Cart, and Boats on the River Po 1819
D14652
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 86a
Pencil on white wove paper, 111 x 184 mm
Partial watermark ‘Allnutt | 18’
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘B’, ‘Blue’, ‘B’ and ‘Red’ towards top, on and around figures, ‘B’, ‘[?W]’, ‘D’, ‘G’, ‘G’, ‘G’, ‘Red’, ‘[?Red]’, ‘RWBG’, ‘[?E] Horses’, ‘[?Gre ... | ...]’, ‘Boats on the Po’ across centre, on and around figures, horses and boats, and ‘Bol’ twice, towards centre right and bottom right, descending vertically
Inscribed in pencil ‘2’ top left, upside down
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, at the centre and right are overlapping studies of figures in a horse-drawn cart and various small boats noted as being ‘on the Po’. Compare folio 10 verso (D14507), which appears to record a scene on the river, presumably somewhere along the northern approach to Ferrara (see inside the front cover; D40895); for other studies of boats, see under folio 7 verso (D14501).
Along the lop and at the centre left are numerous candid studies of people sitting or going about their business, taking particular note of their costumes, with scattered colour notes. They include figures carrying bundles and using a yoke, a soldier, and perhaps priests and merchants in long cloaks. What appears to be another such study at the bottom right, made with the page turned vertically, is labelled ‘Bol’, probably indicating Bologna, which Turner recorded extensively (see under folio 24 recto; D14532).
For the few other pages with figure studies in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 recto (D14489), and for Cecilia Powell’s comments on Turner’s very few sketches after leaving Venice until his arrival at Bologna, see under folio 21 verso (D14528).1

Matthew Imms
March 2017

1
See Powell 1984, pp.82, 462 notes 62 and 63, and Powell 1987, pp.24, 202 note 39.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Studies of Italian Figures and their Costumes ?at Bologna, a Horse-Drawn Cart, and Boats on the River Po 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2017, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, July 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-studies-of-italian-figures-and-their-costumes-at-bologna-a-r1186388, accessed 28 January 2022.