Joseph Mallord William TurnerTwo Sketches at Paestum: the Eastern End of the Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres); and the Interior of the Second Temple of Hera (formerly known as the Temple of Neptune) 1819

Share this artwork

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Two Sketches at Paestum: the Eastern End of the Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres); and the Interior of the Second Temple of Hera (formerly known as the Temple of Neptune)
From Naples, Paestum and Rome Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI
Date 1819
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15972
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 31
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 33 Recto:
Two Sketches at Paestum: the Eastern End of the Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres); and the Interior of the Second Temple of Hera (formerly known as the Temple of Neptune) 1819
D15972
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 31
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘2 Steps’ and ‘50’ and ‘13’ within sketch of temple
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘31’ top right and ‘245’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXVI 31’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains two sketches associated with Turner’s exploration of Paestum, an ancient city on a plain between the Lattari mountains and the Tyrrenhian sea, approximately twenty miles south-east of Salerno. The site was most famous for its three fifth-century BC Greek temples which had been rediscovered at the end of the eighteenth century. The main drawing depicts the eastern end of the Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres), which as Turner shows has six columns at the front and a surviving fragment of the entablature and pediment.1 In the distance to the left can be seen the relative position of the Second Temple of Hera (formerly known as the Temple of Neptune). For a depiction of the western end of the Temple of Athena see folio 32 verso (D15971; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 30a).
Inverted in the top left-hand corner of the page is a separate study of the interior of the Second Temple of Hera depicting the surviving remains of the pronaos, or inner portico, at one end.2 Turner used a diagram of a similar view during his perspective lectures at the Royal Academy (see Tate D17072; Turner Bequest CXCV 102), almost certainly based upon an original drawing by Giovanni Battista Piranesi (1720–1778) in the collection of the architect John Soane.3
For a more detailed discussion and other sketches of the temples see folio 31 (D15968; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 29).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

1
First identified by Powell 1984, p.425.
2
Ibid.
3
See Powell 1987, p. 83, and Helen Dorey, John Soane & JMW Turner: Illuminating a Friendship, exhibition catalogue, Sir John Soane’s Museum, London 2007, p.24.

About this artwork