Joseph Mallord William Turner

Interior of the Second Temple of Hera (Formerly known as the Temple of Neptune), Paestum

1819

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Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15973
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 31 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this rough outline sketch is an interior view of the Second Temple of Hera (formerly known as the Temple of Neptune), one of the three celebrated fifth-century Greek ruins at Paestum. Turner’s viewpoint is looking towards the eastern end of the building with the outer portico of columns on the right, and part of the surviving double-storey inner cella on the left. The artist has denoted the line of the mountains in the distance beyond, and just visible on the far right-hand side of the composition is the relative position of part of the adjacent Temple of Hera (commonly but erroneously known as the Basilica). For further interior views see folios 44 verso–45 (D15995–D15996; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 42a–43). For a more detailed discussion and other sketches of the temples see folio 31 (D15968; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 29).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

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