Turner Bequest CLXXX 44 a
Cecilia Powell has identified the subject of the top sketch as six studies of three female figures from a column depicting the Hours.1 Turner has therefore drawn the object twice from different angles. The column can be found in the Sala dei Busti (Gallery of Busts).2 The drawing has been annotated ‘809’ 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.
Powell has further identified the bottom sketch as the central figures from the Sarcophagus of Protesilaus and Laodamia.3 Turner’s inscription beneath the drawing reads ‘Laodamia and Protesilao’. This object, from the second compartment of the Galleria dei Candelabri (formerly known as the Galleria delle Miscellanee) can be seen in a drawing by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Rome. Museum of the Capitol. Gallery of Candelabra [sic] 1817 (British School at Rome Library), positioned on the left-hand side.4 It is still in situ today.
How to cite
Nicola Moorby, ‘Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Vatican Museums, Including Six Sketches of Female Figures, from the Column with Reliefs of the Hours, and Detail of the Protesilaus and Laodamia Sarcophagus 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www