View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
As indicated by Turner’s handwritten inscription, these sketches represent views in the Plain of Paestum, between the Cilento mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea (for Paestum). Turner travelled to Paestum (‘Pesto’ is the modern Italian name) approximately twenty miles south-east of Salerno, in order to visit the site of three famous ancient temples, see folio 19 verso (D15945). For similar studies and a description of the route see folio 30 (D15966; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 28).
A couple of the scenes feature figures in the foreground including a group of men and women carrying tools, and a man ploughing with a team of oxen. The shaky, uncertain appearance of the draughtsmanship suggests that the artist was drawing from a moving vehicle or vessel.
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