Orvieto was painted by Turner and sketched by him many times. It is a hugely picturesque city; it stands high on its Tufa escarpment above the road to Rome, largely unchanged since Turner’s day. There is an umbrella pine in the foreground of his painting as well. His painting is visible at the Tate Gallery in London.
Turner painted this picture during his stay in Rome in 1828. More than most of his Italian landscapes, it describes the actual appearance of a particular place: Turner made several sketches of Orvieto on his journey to Rome. However, the final painting blends this description with the compositions Turner admired in the work of the seventeenth-century classical landscape painter, Claude Lorrain.
This is one of a small group of paintings which Turner showed in an exhibition he held at his lodgings in Rome in 1828, though he re-worked it before showing it in London two years later.
To read more about Joseph Turner click here.