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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Three Sketches at Susa, Including Two Studies of the Arch of Augustus 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 36 Verso:
Three Sketches at Susa, Including Two Studies of the Arch of Augustus 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 36 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 185 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘?Sas[...]per’ and ‘Arch’ within central sketch
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains three distinct drawings. Within the main (horizontal) body of the sheet there are two studies of the Arch of Augustus, a ninth-century monument erected by the Emperor Augustus to commemorate the ‘Pax Augusta’, a peace treaty with Marcus Julius Cottius, leader of the tribes of the so-called Cottian Alps (the mountainous border between France and Italy).1 The arch is located at Susa, the first city in Italy after crossing the Pass of Mont Cenis, approximately thirty miles west of Turin. A related sketch depicting the arch within a more general view of Susa can be found on folio 37 verso (D14050). Turner also mentioned it within the notes he made from the popular guidebook, A Classical Tour Through Italy by Revd John Chetwode Eustace (see the Italian Guide Book sketchbook, Tate D13962; Turner Bequest CLXXII 16a). Further drawings dating from later European tours can also be found within other sketchbooks (see for example the Fort Bard sketchbook, 1836, Tate D29313; Turner Bequest CCXCIV 54).
The small sketch on the far left-hand side of the page, parallel with the spine, also appears to be a rough drawing of Susa. For a more detailed discussion of Turner’s arrival in Italy and the related Alpine sketches see the Introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

See Fred S. Kleiner, A History of Roman Art, Boston 2010, pp.93–4, reproduced.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Three Sketches at Susa, Including Two Studies of the Arch of Augustus 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, March 2013, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, August 2013, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-three-sketches-at-susa-including-two-studies-of-the-arch-of-r1142906, accessed 18 January 2021.