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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?Two Views of Loreto 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 5 Verso:
?Two Views of Loreto 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 5 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 110 x 186 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Lor’ bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
After a sustained period of travel along the east coast from Rimini, Turner’s route towards Rome turned inland at Ancona and began to follow a south-westerly course towards the Apennine Mountains. Many of the urban settlements in this part of Italy were built upon high ground and Turner made a number of sketches of the hilltop towns and cities he glimpsed as he travelled through the landscape of the Marche region of Italy. The order of these drawings within the beginning of this sketchbook does not appear to follow a strict geographical sequence.
The subject of these two sketches has not been conclusively identified, although Turner’s inscription ‘Lor’ indicates that they may represent distant views of the town of Loreto. The right-hand side of the larger drawing appears to show the horizon of the Adriatic Sea. The low position of the sun with the light reflected on the water below suggests that Turner is sketching early in the morning with the sun rising in the east.
Cecilia Powell has suggested that the sketch in the bottom right-hand corner of the page depicts the dome and campanile of the Santuario di Campocavallo, a large church which lies a couple of miles south-east of Osimo.1 This is in fact impossible since the building dates from 1892–1905. It is likely instead that this is a distant view of the basilica of the Santuario della Santa Casa at Loreto, see folio 13 (D14677).

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

Powell 1984, p.407.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘?Two Views of Loreto 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2008, 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-two-views-of-loreto-r1138824, accessed 28 May 2024.