Joseph Mallord William Turner

Cascades, Tivoli


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIX 50

Catalogue entry

This page contains a view of the cascatelli (or cascatelle) of Tivoli, the lesser cascades at the northern tip of the town where part of the River Aniene flowed from an underground passage and emerged in streams down the slopes. The sketch is drawn from the floor of the valley looking east. Turner has used rough hatching and shading to describe the steep craggy slopes, lush vegetation and streams of falling water, and has variously annotated the drawing with colour notes. Similar views can be seen on folios 48–52 verso and 55 (D15016–D40926 and D15027). He later further explored the tonal properties of the cascades in the Tivoli sketchbook (see for example Tate D15467; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 1). Today the numerous smaller waterfalls have disappeared due to the divergence of the River Aniene away from the centre of Tivoli, and have been replaced by the great waterfall of Villa Gregoriana.
At some point during its history the right-hand third of the sheet has been torn away, and subsequently repaired.

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

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