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Lake Como looking towards Lecco About 1828

Not on display

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.

Glossary Open


Usually refers to watercolour mixed with white pigment that retains the fluidity of watercolour but without the transparency. The term gouache is also used.


A paint with colouring and binding agents diluted with water. It has a transparent quality and is usually applied to paper.

Body-colour, Watercolour


  • Acc. No. D NG 878
  • Medium Bodycolour on blue paper
  • Size 14.20 x 18.80 cm
  • Credit Henry Vaughan Bequest 1900