About this artwork

The vast expanse of this view can be measured against the tiny horse drawn carriage in the centre foreground and the people admiring the scene at the right. The blue paper provides a rich undertone and where left visible, contributes to the shimmering character of the lake and sky. Turner used body-colour, that is, white paint mixed with watercolour, to suggest both the density of the rocks and mountains and the sparkle on the water. He first visited Italy in 1819 and filled a sketch book around this area. This drawing, however, was probably made in the late 1820s.

see media

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Turner transformed the art of landscape painting in Britain. From detailed topographical studies to expansive, atmospheric vistas his works celebrate the diversity and emotive power of nature. He was born in Covent Garden, the son of a barber, and exhibited his earliest sketches in his father's shop before studying at the Royal Academy Schools. Turner became the youngest ever full member of the Royal Academy in 1802. His experimental use of watercolour and oils achieved stunning effects, attracting contemporary criticism and praise. Turner's admiration of past masters, above all Claude Lorraine, and the numerous sketches made on many tours in Britain and abroad, provided the basis for his 'sublime' land and seascapes.