Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Tivoli from the Valley, with a Bridge Across the River Aniene


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 253 x 196 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 21

Catalogue entry

Turner’s exploration of Tivoli included a large number of landscape sketches drawn from the river valley to the north. He was particularly attracted by the spectacle of the town’s ancient ruins perched above the steep, wooded gorge and streaming waterfalls. This drawing depicts a view from the floor of the valley looking east, with the town silhouetted along the brow of the hill above. To the right is the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore (Sanctuary of Hercules Victor), a ruined Roman temple formerly known as the Villa of Maecenas, whilst on the left is the campanile of the Cathedral (Duomo) of San Lorenzo, the substructures supporting the Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani), and a medieval watch-tower. The ruined bridge in the foreground appears to represent a crossing over the River Aniene near to the Ponte dell’Acquoria (see Tate D15012; Turner Bequest CLXXIX 46). Like many drawings within this sketchbook, the composition has been executed over a washed grey background.
Similar views can be seen on folios 7, 8, 16, 26, and 41–41a (D15473, D15474, D15482, D15493, D15508–D15509), and in the Tivoli and Rome sketchbook (Tate D15033; Turner Bequest CLXXIX 57 verso). For a full description of the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore and further studies see folio 5 (D15471).
Blank, except for traces of grey watercolour wash
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘364’ bottom left, and by an unknown hand in pencil ‘clxxxiii-21’ bottom left

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

Read full Catalogue entry


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