Turner Bequest CLXXX 45 a
Cecilia Powell has identified the sketch in the top left-hand corner as a relief fragment with Dionysus, Ariadne and Silenus.1 The object can be found in the Galleria delle Statue (Gallery of Statues, formerly also known as the Gallery of Cleopatra).2 Turner has annotated the drawing with the number ‘669’.
Powell has identified the second sketch from top left as a relief fragment with a temple, also from the Galleria delle Statue.3 The object is now believed to depict the insignia of the ‘Sabina Materno’, possibly with the Temple of Castori in the Circo Flaminio.4 Turner has transcribed the accompanying inscriptions as ‘N | AE | DILOG’ and ‘H | D | MAT | NTV’. Furthermore, either this or the adjacent sketch (see c.) is labelled ‘[?Liber T...]’ and ‘710’.
Powell has suggested that the two sketches top and bottom right are variant views of a statue of a woman carrying water, sometimes known as the ‘Danaid’, from the Galleria delle Statue.5 This sculpture can be seen in two drawings by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Rome. Saloon of Cleopatra of the Vatican, positioned on the right-hand side and Antiques of the Vatican 1817 (both British School at Rome Library).6 However, Turner’s drawing does not include the ornamental pillar supporting the bowl of water underneath, which suggests that it may in fact depict a different sculpture, partially visible in another Hakewill drawing, Rome. Museum of the Captiol. Gallery of the Candelabra.7 Despite the title, the view actually represents the second bay of the Galleria dei Candelabri in the Vatican Museums (formerly known as the Galleria delle Miscellanee), and the statue of a woman carrying water can be seen in the middle distance on the far right-hand side.
At the bottom of the page there is also a very slight inverted sketch of an unidentified landscape.
How to cite
Nicola Moorby, ‘Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Vatican Museums, Including a Relief Depicting Dionysus, Ariadne and Silenus, and Two Sketches of a Statue of a Woman Carrying Water 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