Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin

The Vatican: The Wall of the Giardino della Pigna and Belvedere


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
Watercolour on paper
Support: 268 × 413 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 37

Catalogue entry

Probably commissioned by Dr Thomas Monro
Monro’s posthumous sale, Christie’s, London, 26–28 June and 1–2 July 1833 (day and lot number not known)
Bought by or on behalf of Turner
The pencil work is by Girtin. This was probably copied from a sketch by John Robert Cozens (1752–1797). Finberg, who did not publish this sheet in his original 1909 Inventory, gives a title, ‘The Wall of the Giardino della Pigna & Belvedere of the Vatican from outside’,1 which does not appear to be transcribed from an inscription by Cozens.
This work is listed in the 1906 Manchester and 1912 Newcastle catalogues of the Fourth Loan Collection, but not in William White’s 1896 catalogue of the initial 1891–5 showing at the Ruskin Art Museum in Sheffield.2 It was presumably introduced as an extra or replacement work at an unknown date after 1895, hence the other venues prior to 1906 are listed here only tentatively.
MS note in A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.1236, Tate catalogue files.
William White, Notes on a Biographical Series of Fifty Drawings and Sketches by J.M.W. Turner, R.A., Belonging to the National Gallery Collection, London 1896.
Technical notes:
The sheet is somewhat discoloured from exposure.
Blank; inscribed, perhaps by Thomas Girtin, in pencil ‘Vatican’, and by A.J. Finberg ‘4 Loan no 6’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.
Compare the inscription with that on Tate D36538 (Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 17).

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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