Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 28 Verso:
The Villa Rufinella, Frascati, with Rome in the Distance 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 28 a
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 28 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Rome’ and ‘[?dark]’ above horizon on right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.537, as ‘Frascati, “Rome” in distance. Over the plain in middle distance is written “Wilson Brown Campagna” ’.
Cecilia Powell, ‘Turner on Classic Ground: His Visits to Central and Southern Italy and Related Paintings and Drawings’, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London 1984, pp.194 note 102, 195 note 107.
Jack Lindsay, Turner: The Man and His Art, London 1985, p.96.
John Gage, J.M.W. Turner: ‘A Wonderful Range of Mind’, New Haven and London 1987, p..
Cecilia Powell, Turner in the South: Rome, Naples, Florence, New Haven and London 1987, pp. notes 78 and 79, 176 note 18.
Kathleen Nicholson, Turner’s Classical Landscapes: Myth and Meaning, Princeton 1990, p.245.
Nicola Moorby, ‘Un tesoro italiano: i taccuini di Turner’, in James Hamilton, Nicola Moorby, Christopher Baker and others, Turner e l’Italia, exhibition catalogue, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara 2008, pp.100, 105 note 14.
Nicola Moorby, ‘An Italian Treasury: Turner’s sketchbooks’, in James Hamilton, Nicola Moorby, Christopher Baker and others, Turner & Italy, exhibition catalogue, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh 2009, pp.113, 154–5 note 15.
The building in this sketch is the Villa la Rufinella, also called the Villa Tuscolana (now a hotel), which is the highest of the many villas built on the hill above Frascati. Like many of the grand summer houses in the area it was once a papal residence but between 1804 and 1820 the ownership had transferred to Lucien Bonaparte, younger brother of Napoleon I, a fact which may have interested Turner.
Turner’s view is taken from the terrace to the north of the building with the hill sloping away beneath and far-reaching views over the surrounding countryside, including Rome in the far distance. The panorama continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 29 (D15349). The grove of cypress and pine trees on the right and the layout of the villas on the opposite page indicate that this is the viewpoint for another sketch, see folio 27 (D15345), the drawing believed to provide the basis for the oil painting, Cicero at his Villa exhibited 1839 (B&J 381, private collection). The view is also similar, although not identical to the composition of a drawing by James Hakewill, Villa Ruffinella, At Frascati 1817 (British School at Rome Library). 1 A watercolour of the view from the opposite direction was painted by Charles de Chatillon (1795–1823), Villa La Rufinella a Frascati (private collection).2
In the bottom left-hand corner is an inverted sketch of an architectural detail, possibly the top of a Corinthian column.
Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.5.33, p.259 reproduced.
Reproduced in colour in Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, Pier Andrea De Rosa, Paolo Emilo Trastulli et al., La Campagna Romana da Hackert a Balla, exhibition catalogue, Museo del Corso, Rome, no.97.
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