Like many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century visitors to Rome, part of Turner’s exploration of the city included the panoramic views seen from certain elevated vantage points. One of the most famous of these was the Janiculum Hill (or Gianicolo), a ridge of high ground to the west of the River Tiber which offered sweeping vistas across the historical centre of the capital. The details of this prospect are very rough but the recognisable forms of the Pyramid of Caius Cestius and the Porta San Paolo with distant mountains suggests that his viewpoint here is the Janiculum looking south. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 78 (D15445; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 77).
For further sketches from the Janiculum see folio 39 verso-40 (D15369–D15370).