Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Peter’s and the Vatican from the Gardens of the Villa Barberini, Rome

1819

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 231 x 369 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16333
Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 7

Display caption

During his tour of Italy in 1819 Turner made around two thousand sketches of varying size and media and nature, in twenty-three sketchbooks. During his two-to three-month stay in Rome, he produced a series of very detailed pencil drawings on paper prepared
with a grey wash.

 

The precision and accuracy with which
he has recorded this sweeping view from the hills above St Peter's recalls his early training as an architectural draughtsman. These studies of the topography of the
city and geography of the surrounding
area would have proved invaluable reference material for works undertaken
on his return to England.

 

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry