Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Triangular Forum and the Great Theatre, Pompeii


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 16 a

Catalogue entry

The Triangular Forum in Pompeii is a piazza located at the southern edge of the city adjacent to the theatre area. This sketch depicts the view looking north towards Vesuvius with the back of the grand Ionic entrance (propylaeum), at the vanishing point of the composition and the ruined Doric portico of the Forum on the left. To the right is the semi-circular arena of the Great Theatre, see folio 25 verso (D15785). Alternative studies of the Triangular Forum, including the front of the propylaeum, can be found on folios 14 verso, 16, 24–24 verso, 26 verso (D15763, D15766, D15782–D15783, D15787). For further sketches and a general discussion of Turner’s visit to Pompeii see the introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

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