Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches at Paestum: The Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres); and the Old City Walls with the Porta Sirena

1819

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Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15970
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 30

Catalogue entry

The two sketches on this page relate to Turner’s exploration of Paestum, the southernmost destination on his 1819 tour of Italy. On the left is a rough outline study of the western end of the Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres), one of three celebrated fifth-century BC Greek ruins which stand in the plain between the Lattari mountains and the Tyrrenhian sea.1 For more detailed drawings see folio 32 verso–33 (D15971–D15972; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 30a–31). On the right-hand side, parallel with the edge of the page, is a sketch of the Porta Sirena (Siren’s Gate), the eastern entry point in the old city walls.2
For a more detailed discussion and other sketches of Paestum see folio 31 (D15968; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 29).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

1
First identified by Powell 1984, p.425.
2
Ibid.

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