Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of the Gardens of the Villa d’Este, Tivoli, from the Terrace of the Gran Loggia

1819

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 x 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14950
Turner Bequest CLXXIX 11

Catalogue entry

Several pages of the Tivoli and Rome sketchbook are devoted to studies of the Villa d’Este, a sixteenth-century villa and formal Renaissance garden built for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este (1509–1572), the son of Lucrezia Borgia. This sketch depicts a panoramic view of the gardens from the elevated viewpoint of the terrace directly in front of the casino, opposite the Gran Loggia. On the left-hand side of the composition can be seen irregular shapes of the Rometta Fountain, a water feature decorated with symbols related to Rome, whilst next to that is the Fountain of the Owl (Civetta), an arched niche flanked by columns. Clustered throughout the grounds are the tall forms of the estate’s celebrated cypress trees, reputed to be the largest and oldest in Italy, whilst on the far right-hand side, beyond the perimeter of the grounds, can be seen the campanile of the Cathedral of San Lorenzo. In the far distance to the west is the twisting course of the River Aniene winding its way towards Rome. The drawing continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 10 verso (D14949).
For a full discussion of Turner’s sketches of the Villa d’Este see folio 5 verso (D14942).

Nicola Moorby
January 2010

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