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At the time of Turner’s visit to Pompeii, one of the most impressive and recently excavated areas was the Forum. The artist made a number of studies of this part of the site from a number of different angles, see folios 12 verso–15, 20 verso–21, 22 verso, 23 verso (D15760–D15764, D15775–D15776, D15779, D15781). This sketch depicts the eastern exterior wall of the Temple of Jupiter at the northern end. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread with the view looking south towards the other end of the Forum and the Basilica, see folio 21 verso (D15777).
For further sketches and a general discussion of Turner’s visit to Pompeii see the introduction to the sketchbook.