Joseph Mallord William Turner

Details of the Temples of Vespasian and Saturn in the Forum, Rome; and a Sketch of Two Religious Figures


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 189 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 34 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains studies related to monuments in the Roman Forum. The top sketch is a carefully detailed study of the uppermost section of the Temple of Vespasian, including the Corinthian capitals of the three remaining columns, and the ornamental reliefs and inscription on the entablature. Beneath this is another sketch of the base of one of the columns. The lower sketch similarly records the details of the adjacent Temple of Saturn including the corner of the cornice with the top of one of the eight remaining Ionic columns, and the Latin inscription on the entablature along the top of the temple. The full text reads ‘Senatus Populus Que Romanus Incendio Consumptum Restitvit’ [Destoyed by fire, Restored by the Senate and the People of Rome]. For a general discussion of the Temples and Turner’s depictions of the Forum see folio 32 (D15355).
In the bottom right-hand corner is a sketch of two men, one of whom is carrying a staff, whilst the other appears to be carrying a cross. Their costume suggests they are religious figures.

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

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