Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two views of Rocca di Papa


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 25 a

Catalogue entry

Rocca di Papa, one of the sixteen Alban communes known as the ‘Castelli Romani’, is situated across the lower slopes of Monte Cavo near Lake Albano. On the upper half of this page Turner has drawn the topography of the town from a distance, perched along a crest of high ground, although he appears to have had some trouble ascertaining the scale of the peak on the far right. The lower sketch shows a more detailed view of part of the town from the west, with the two towers flanking the Duomo dell Assunta clearly visible in the centre.
Beneath these two sketches Turner has written a note about the ‘Palace of Baberini’. He is probably referring to the Villa Barberini, a seventeenth-century residence built for the powerful Barberini family which lies near the Papal Palace in Castel Gandolfo facing towards Lake Albano in one direction and the Mediterranean sea in the other.
The two sketches are inverted on the page.

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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