Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Palazzo Corsini, 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: 161 x 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15105
Turner Bequest CLXXX 1

Catalogue entry

Cecilia Powell has identified the sketches on this page as studies of sculptural fragments from the Palazzo Corsini in Rome. This fifteenth-century palace, rebuilt in the eighteenth century, stands in the Trastevere district near the Villa Farnesina, at the foot of the Janiculum Hill. Today it houses the National Gallery of Ancient Art, a collection largely comprised of works amassed by the Corsini family. The drawings are numbered from top left to bottom right:
a.
The sketch in the top left hand corner represents the tombstone of L. Camurtius Punicus from the stairs of the Palazzo.1
b.
The detail in the top right-hand corner is unidentified.
c.
The sketch in the centre of the page depicts the front panel of a sarcophagus decorated with sculptural reliefs of tritons, nereids and sea-monsters.2 Turner has also recorded the end panel of the same sarcophagus, decorated with a marine figure blowing a conch.3
d.
The sketch at the bottom represents the Sedia Corsini, an antique chair or throne decorated with marble reliefs.4 This was the most important antiquity in the palazzo.5
Notes about paintings in the Palazzo Corsini can be found on folio 1 verso (D15106) and in the Route to Rome sketchbook (Tate D13881; Turner Bequest CLXXI 13).

Nicola Moorby
December 2009

1
Powell 1984, p.411.
2
Powell 1984, p.411; Salomon Reinach Répertoire de Reliefs Grecs et Romains, vol.3, Paris 1912, p.223 no.1, reproduced.
3
Powell 1984, p.411; Reinach 1912, p.223 no.3, reproduced.
4
Powell 1984, p.411; Reinach 1912, p.224 no.5, reproduced.
5
Powell 1984, p.477 note 11.

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