This sketch represents part of a panoramic view sweeping across the Roman Forum towards the Capitoline Hill, and the area east of the Forum of Trajan. Turner’s vantage point for the prospect is the summit of the Church of Santi Cosma e Damiano.1 The most prominent landmark is the square tower of the Torre delle Milizie, whilst to the right of that is part of the Church of Santi Domenico e Sisto. Turner started the drawing on folios 72 verso–73 (D16287–D16288; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 71a–72) and then half-folded the paper back in order to extend the breath of the view onto the sketchbook page available beneath. Further sketches completing the circle of vision from this viewpoint can be found on folios 70 verso–71 verso (D16283–D16285; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 69a–70a). For a general discussion for the vogue for urban panoramic views see folio 75 verso (D16293; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 74a).
The page also contains part of a sketch of ruins from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 73 verso (D16289; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 72a).
See Thomas Ashby, ‘Turner in Rome’, Burlington Magazine, vol.24, no.130, January 1914, p.218.