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

Joseph Mallord William Turner Studies of Egyptian Artefacts in the Vatican Museums, Including a Torso of the Bull God, Apis, and a Statue of Isis 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 53 Recto:
Studies of Egyptian Artefacts in the Vatican Museums, Including a Torso of the Bull God, Apis, and a Statue of Isis 1819
D15206
Turner Bequest CLXXX 52
Pencil on white wove paper, 161 x 101 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘1359’ underneath sketch top right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘52’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXX 52’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
During his 1819 stay in Rome, one of Turner’s most extensive sketching campaigns was the large number of pencil studies made from the sculpture collections of the Vatican Museums (for a general discussion, see the introduction to the sketchbook). This page includes sketches of artefacts from the Egyptian collections. After 1839 these were housed in the Museo Gregoriano Egizio (Gregorian Egyptian Museum), founded by Pope Gregory XVI. Turner’s sketches include a torso of a statue of the bull god Apis (second from the right),1 and a statue of the goddess Isis with a child. Turner has labelled the latter ‘1359’ which presumably relates to an exhibit number displayed on the work. However, it does not appear to correspond to any known lists published within contemporary guide books or catalogues of the Vatican collections.

Nicola Moorby
November 2009

1
Possibly no.5.18 in the Hemicycle of the Museo Gregoriano Egizio, see cat. 22808, http://mv.vatican.va/3_EN/pages/MEZ/MEZ_Sala05.html>, accessed November 2009.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Studies of Egyptian Artefacts in the Vatican Museums, Including a Torso of the Bull God, Apis, and a Statue of Isis 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 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-studies-of-egyptian-artefacts-in-the-vatican-museums-r1139618, accessed 18 December 2014.