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 52 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains a view of the cascatelli (or cascatelle), the lesser cascades at the northern tip of Tivoli, where part of the River Aniene flowed from an underground passage and emerged 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 and lush vegetation, whilst the paper has been left blank to depict the sheets of falling water. 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smaller waterfalls have disappeared due to the divergence of the River Aniene away from the centre of Tivoli, and have been replaced by the great waterfall of Villa Gregoriana.
In the bottom right-hand corner is another study of the same view, including the medieval watch-tower positioned at the edge of the ravine.

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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