Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Sketches Including Frascati and the Villa Mondragone


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 80 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains four sketches drawn with the book held in portrait format. Two refer to Frascati, a town approximately twelve miles south-east of Rome famous for its many villas built for the Papal nobility during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The inscription on the second sketch from the bottom identifies the Villa ‘Monte Dragone’, or Mondragone, a name which refers to the heraldic dragon in the coat of arms of Pope Gregory XIII, see also folio 15 verso (D15322). The estate is situated close to another villa, the Villa Taverna (also known as the Villa Parisi), although the prospect presented here has not yet been identified. Meanwhile, the view at the bottom of the page possibly also depicts the Villa Mondragone, seen from Monte Porzio Catone, with Frascati indicated but not delineated on the lower ground on the right, and the horizon of the sea in the distance.
It is not known to what the inscriptions in the second sketch from the top refer but the drawing seems to depict a clearing amidst some trees. The view at the top is also unidentified although the dome visible through the trees is possibly the Church of San Tommaso di Villanova at Castel Gandolfo.

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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