View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
In 76 AD the Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried by the volcanic eruption of nearby Vesuvius. Excavation of this important archeological location began during the mid-eighteenth century and the emerging ruins quickly became one of the most popular destinations for British tourists in Italy. Turner visited during his Naples sojourn in the autumn of 1819 and made over forty on-the-spot sketches (for a more detailed discussion see the introduction to the sketchbook). This study depicts some of the site’s extensive remains with the vast silhouette of Vesuvius looming in the background to the north-west.