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The sketches on this page relate to Turner’s exploration of the archaeological remains at Herculaneum.1 Like all of his studies of the site, the drawings are very rough and appear to have been executed in near-darkness. The details in the top half of the page are too schematic to be identified but clearly visible in the lower half is an arched doorway flanked by pilasters with a staircase beyond.
For a fuller description of Herculaneum and Turner’s on-the-spot sketches see folio 86 (D15896; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 84).
See Cecilia Powell, ‘Turner on Classic Ground: His Visits to Central and Southern Italy and Related Paintings and Drawings’, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London 1984, p.187, and Cecilia Powell, Turner in the South: Rome, Naples, Florence, New Haven and London 1987, pp.82–3.