Thomas Ashby identified the subject of this sketch as the walls of Rome from Villa Borghese.1 Turner’s viewpoint appears to be from one of the upper storeys of the seventeenth-century villa (present-day Museo Borghese), and part of the building itself appears on the far left-hand side of the composition. The study looks south-east across the formal gardens towards a section of the Aurelian walls between Porta Pinciana and Porta Salaria, with the Alban Hills in the far distance beyond.
Sketches by Turner of works of art in the Borghese collection can be found in the Remarks (Italy) sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CXCIII).
Thomas Ashby, unpublished notes, Turner Bequest Archive, Tate.
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