Joseph Mallord William Turner

Distant View of Rome from the South, with San Paolo fuori le mura


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCI 12

Catalogue entry

Following a systematic exploration of the eastern bank of the River Tiber from the Isola Tiberina to the outskirts of Rome, Turner made a series of panoramic drawings from San Paolo fuori le mura, the basilica church situated outside of the ancient city walls, approximately one mile south of the Porta San Paolo, see folios 10 verso–12 and 13 verso–14 (D16503–D16506 and D16509–D16510). This distant view of the city is taken from a point south of the cathedral, part of the façade of which can be seen in the centre. The building in the foreground on the left may represent Santa Passera, a small church which lies directly opposite San Paolo fuori le mura, on the other side of the river. Other recognisable landmarks include, from left to right: the distant dome of St Peter’s; the Janiculum Hill with the Church of San Pietro in Montorio; the Capitoline Hill with the tower of the Campidoglio; and the top of the Pyramid of Cestius. A similar prospect can be seen on folios 10 verso–11 and 13 verso–14 (D16503–D16504 and D16509–D16510).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

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