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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The North-West Corner of Milan Cathedral, Looking South 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 5 Recto:
The North-West Corner of Milan Cathedral, Looking South 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXV 5
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 185 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘7’ below right of centre, on distant building, and ‘Caffe’ towards top right, on building
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘5’ top right and ‘300’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXV 5’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Part of the Cathedral, Milan’): ‘steps of West front’.1 The sculptures and high-relief panels at the western end of Milan Cathedral’s north side remain as carefully recorded here, although the buildings around the piazza have been much altered or replaced.
The group of figures on the steps and towards the bottom right may be taking part in a religious procession like the one Turner showed in the currently untraced watercolour Milan of about 1833,2 engraved in 1835 for Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon (Tate impressions: T04741, T04742, T04976, T06268). See under folio 2 recto (D14328) for other Milan views.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.512.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.431 no.1111.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The North-West Corner of Milan Cathedral, Looking South 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-the-north-west-corner-of-milan-cathedral-looking-south-r1186446, accessed 24 May 2024.