Turner thoroughly explored the Roman Forum (Campo Vaccino) and made numerous sketches from various viewpoints. This sketch of the Temple of Saturn and the view looking towards the Palatine Hill continues a wider landscape vista from the opposite page of the north end of the Forum looking south-east towards the Colosseum and the Arch of Titus, see folio 66 verso (D15422; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 65a). Turner has marked the location of the Via della Consolazione which leads west from the Forum towards the Church of San Nicola in Carcere and the river.
The artist has drawn the Temple of Saturn square on from the northern end and the inscribed number ‘8’ at the base is a personal reminder that the ancient ruin is comprised of remaining eight columns, even though only four can be seen at this angle.
For a general discussion of the Forum and other sketches see folio 32 (D15355).