J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

Joseph Mallord William Turner Ruins of the Palace of the Caesars on the Palatine Hill, Rome 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 17 Recto:
Ruins of the Palace of the Caesars on the Palatine Hill, Rome 1819
D16419
Turner Bequest CXC 17
Pencil and grey watercolour wash on white wove paper, 130 x 255 mm
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘17’ top right and by an unknown hand in pencil ‘17’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CXC 17’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains part of a panoramic view from the Palace of the Caesars on the Palatine Hill looking south-west towards the Aventine Hill and the Janiculum Hill. The ruins in the foreground represent part of the substructures of Emperor Septimius Severus. In the distance can be seen, from left to right: the Church of Santa Sabina on the Aventine; the high ridge of the Janiculum Hill crowned by trees; and on the far right-hand side, the dome of St Peter’s. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 16 verso (D16418; Turner Bequest CXC 16a). Related views can be found in the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (see Tate D15392–D15393 and D15440–D15441; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 50a–1 and 74a–5). The panorama is also similar to that in a drawing by James Hakewill, Rome, Ruins of the Palace of the Caesars on the Palatine Hill, later published in a series called Eight Views of Rome, 1823.1
Like many drawings within this sketchbook, the composition has been executed over a washed grey background and Turner has created areas of pale highlights by rubbing or lifting through to the white paper beneath.
1
Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.3.10, p.188 reproduced.
Verso:
Blank except for traces of grey watercolour.

Nicola Moorby
May 2009

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Ruins of the Palace of the Caesars on the Palatine Hill, Rome 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-ruins-of-the-palace-of-the-caesars-on-the-palatine-hill-rome-r1132518, accessed 19 September 2014.