The watercolours Turner painted on his first Italian tour marked a turning point in his career. His encounter with warm Mediterranean light inspired a dramatic lightening of his palette: while architectural details are treated with soft pinks and browns, loose, wet washes of limpid blues depict tranquil skies over tepid, clear waters.

Once again Turner uses a variety of papers. Compare the studies on light grey paper with those on a white background.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Rome: The Colosseum' 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Rome: The Colosseum 1819
Gouache, pencil and watercolour on paper
support: 231 x 369 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

View the main page for this artwork

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Rome from the Villa Barberini: A Rainbow in the Distance' 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Rome from the Villa Barberini: A Rainbow in the Distance 1819
Pencil, watercolour and watercolour wash on paper
support: 230 x 362 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

View the main page for this artwork

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Naples: Monte St Angelo and Capri' 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Naples: Monte St Angelo and Capri 1819
Pencil and watercolour on paper
support: 255 x 404 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

View the main page for this artwork

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'Monte Gennaro near Rome' 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner
Monte Gennaro near Rome 1819
Watercolour on paper
support: 253 x 403 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

View the main page for this artwork