Joseph Mallord William Turner

Vesuvius from the Ruins of Pompeii

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
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
D15745
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 4 a

Catalogue entry

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.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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