Joseph Mallord William TurnerView in the Grounds of Villa Borghese, Rome 1819

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Artwork details

View in the Grounds of Villa Borghese, Rome
From Rome and Florence Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXCI
Date 1819
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 113 x 189 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCI 21 a
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 21 Verso:
View in the Grounds of Villa Borghese, Rome 1819
Turner Bequest CXCI 21 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Cecilia Powell has identified this sketch as a view in the grounds of the Villa Borghese, a large area of parkland north of central Rome, built during the early seventeenth century for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V.1 Flaminio Ponzio (circa 1560–1613), the architect who designed the Casino Borghese, also laid out the grounds including a series of formal gardens, an area of natural parkland, an aviary (the Uccelliera), and a scattering of statues, fountains and ancient monuments. The park was further transformed during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries by the building of a wooded lake garden, landscaped in the English manner with neo-classical features, partly designed by the British artist, Jacob More (circa 1740–1793).2 During the nineteenth century the gardens were open to the public free of charge and were a popular place for Romans and tourists alike to promenade in their leisure time.3
Turner made a number of quick studies of the gardens with the various architectural features seen through the trees, see for example the St Peter’s sketchbook (Tate D16267–D16270; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 61–63). Other sketches of the grounds can be found on folios 21 and 22–23 (D16523 and D16525–D16527).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

Powell 1984, p.428; see, accessed February 2009.
Raymond Keaveney, Views of Rome from the Thomas Ashby Collection in the Vatican Library, exhibition catalogue, Smithsonian Institution, Washington 1988, p.221.
John Chetwode Eustace, A Classical Tour of Italy, London 1815, 3rd edition, vol.II, pp.207–8.

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