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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View of Piazza Castello, Turin, with Palazzo Madama 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 33 Recto:
View of Piazza Castello, Turin, with Palazzo Madama 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIV 32
Pencil on white wove paper, 111 x 186 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Lion Head over [?corbel] | Porphry’ top centre, ‘6 Bells’ top right and ‘3 ½ [...] high’ within sketch of tower on right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘32’ top right and ‘284’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXIV 32’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketch depicts a view of the Piazza Castello, the most important square in the historic city of Turin. A small part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 32 verso (D14207; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 31a). Turner’s viewpoint is the south-west corner of the piazza looking towards the Palazzo Madama, a castle dating from the 1400s which was originally converted from a fortified Roman gate and later, given an elaborate eighteenth-century front with Corinthian pilasters surmounted by a balustrade.1 The artist has made a careful study of the Baroque façade, including additional architectural notes and drawings at the top of the page. A similar but less detailed view can be found on folio 34 (D14210; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 33), and there is also a focused study of part of the façade on folio 33 verso (D14209; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 32a). For an alternative sketch of the castle from the east see folio 28 (D14198; Turner Bequest CLXXIV 27).

Nicola Moorby
December 2012

Today the building houses the collections of the Museo Civico d’Arte Antica.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘View of Piazza Castello, Turin, with Palazzo Madama 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, December 2012, 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-view-of-piazza-castello-turin-with-palazzo-madama-r1142729, accessed 28 November 2021.