Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of the Banks of the Tiber, near the Aventine Hill, Rome


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 53

Catalogue entry

There are two sketches on this page which depict views of the banks of the Tiber to the south of the Aventine Hill. The sketch at the bottom depicts a view of the eastern bank of the Tiber south of Rome looking upstream towards the city. The river is a blank space in the foreground whilst on the opposite side from left to right is Monte Testaccio; the Aventine Hill with the Churches of Santa Sabina, Sant’Alessio all’Aventino (today known as Santi Boniface e Alessio) and Santa Maria del Priorato; the Aurelian walls; and finally the Pyramid of Cestius with the adjacent Porta San Paolo (Gate of St Paul). The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread with the distant dome of St Peter’s and the tower of the Palazzo Senatorio on the Capitoline Hill, see folio 55 verso (D16256).
The location of the drawing at the top is not known but the view includes the Pyramid of Cestius. The towered structure on the left, which also appears in folio 55 verso (D16256; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 55v), is currently unidentified.

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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