Joseph Mallord William Turner

Gardens of the Villa Borghese, Rome, with the Temple of Antonino and Faustina


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 81 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts a view in the grounds of the Villa Borghese, a large area of garden and parkland north of central Rome, built during the early seventeenth century for Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of Pope Paul V.1 The gardens contain many buildings, statues and monuments scattered between the trees. The classical structure in the bottom right-hand foreground represents the Temple of Diana, an ornamental ruin constructed in 1792 from fragments of ancient remains.2 The building in the centre meanwhile appears to be the Fortezzuola, a late eighteenth-century construction with medieval style walls, known today as the Museo Pietro Canonica.3 For a general discussion of the Borghese Gardens and related skethces see folio 62 (D16267; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 61).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

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