Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Sketches in the Roman Campagna; Including the ?Acqudotto Felice and the ?Junction of the Via Appia Pignatelli and Via Appia Nuova


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 59 a

Catalogue entry

The rough and jagged lines of these landscape sketches suggest that they might have been drawn from a moving vehicle. Turner often drew swift impressions of the horizon in this way as he travelled from place to place. The individual subjects have not been conclusively identified although the sketch at the top may represent the medieval tower of the Acquedotto Felice and the second drawing from the top may depict the coat of arms commemorating the opening of the Via Appia Pignatelli, and the junction with the Via Appia Nuova. The remaining studies probably represent parts of the Aqua Claudia, the aqueduct built by the Emperors Caligula and Claudius, with views of the Roman Campagna and distant mountains.

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

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