Joseph Mallord William Turner View of Rome from the North, with St Peter’s and the Castel Sant’Angelo 1819

Artwork details

Artist
Title
View of Rome from the North, with St Peter’s and the Castel Sant’Angelo
From Small Roman Colour Studies Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CXC
Date 1819
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 130 x 255 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D40577
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Catalogue entry

By the nineteenth century, exploration of the city’s environs had become as much part of the Roman experience as its architecture and monuments. Turner made a large number of studies of the landscape north of Rome and many of the views within this sketchbook appear to relate to a single perambulation from Sant’Agnese fuori le mura to Ponte Sant’Angelo, by way of the ancient Ponte Molle, also known as the Ponte Milvio (for further information see the sketchbook introduction). The subject of this sketch is the view looking south from the western bank of the river, at a point near present-day Ponte Duca d’Aosta, the Foro Italico and the Olympic Stadium. In the centre of the composition are the distant silhouettes of the dome of St Peter’s, the Janiculum Hill and the Castel Sant’Angelo. The area of high ground topped by trees on the far right is Monte Mario and in the centre of the foreground the course of the River Tiber curves its way downstream towards the city. Other sketches repeating a similar view can be found on folios 48 and 49 (D16468 and D16470; Turner Bequest CXC 53 and 55).

Nicola Moorby
June 2009

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