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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Two Views of the Borromean Islands, Lake Maggiore 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 29 Verso:
Two Views of the Borromean Islands, Lake Maggiore 1819
Turner Bequest CXCIV 29 a
Pencil and grey watercolour wash on white wove paper, 121 x 195 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subjects of these two sketches are the Borromean Islands, a small group of islands located within the western arm of Lake Maggiore.1 The upper vista depicts a view from the western shore between Baveno and Stresa looking towards the Isola Pescatori on the left (also known as Isola Superiore) and Isola Bella on the right. The lower scene is too rough to be conclusively identified although Federico Crimi has tentatively suggested it may represent Isola Bella.2 Boats can clearly be discerned moored against the water’s edge on the right. The artist has employed small areas of white scratching-out to create some tonal variety and definition within the studies.

Nicola Moorby
May 2011

Tentatively identified by Crimi 2007, p.30.
Crimi 2009, pp.61–2.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Two Views of the Borromean Islands, Lake Maggiore 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2011, 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-the-borromean-islands-lake-maggiore-r1132820, accessed 13 July 2020.