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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Various Sketches of Porlezza, Lake Lugano 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 71 Recto:
Various Sketches of Porlezza, Lake Lugano 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 70
Pencil on white wove paper, 111 x 186 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Palazzio’ top left, ‘Lugano’ top right, ‘Polezzo’ and ‘Tower of Donna di [?Croce]’ within second sketch from top, and ‘[?Castello condo]’, ‘[Lugano]’, ‘Light Clouds darkenend varying to M grey’, and ‘St Pietro’ within bottom sketch
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘70’ top right and ‘284’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXIV 70’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains a number of sketches of varying sizes, all of which appear to depict Porlezza, a town on Lake Lugano. Turner had crossed from Lake Como by road through the Val Menaggio and arrived at Porlezza where he appears to have continued his journey around Lake Lugano by boat. This is confirmed by the largest study on this page which depicts the town from the waters of the lake.1 The artist visited and sketched Porlezza a second time during a later Italian tour around 1842 (see Tate D34526 and D34553; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV d 158 and 171v).
For further sketches of Lake Lugano from 1819 see folios 71 verso–73 verso (D14281–D14285; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 70a–72a).

Nicola Moorby
January 2013

For a comparable view see ‘Vedute di Porlezza sul Lago di Lugano’ in Viaggio Pittorico e Storico ai Tre Laghi Maggiore, di Lugano e Como, Milan 1818, reproduced online at http://www.braidense.it/dire/viaggio_pittorico/44_porlezza.htm, accessed January 2013.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Various Sketches of Porlezza, Lake Lugano 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 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-various-sketches-of-porlezza-lake-lugano-r1142801, accessed 16 January 2022.