Joseph Mallord William Turner

Isola Tiberina, Rome, with the Ponte Cestio

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16488
Turner Bequest CXCI 2

Catalogue entry

Turner made a large number of drawings with the River Tiber as the central focus. This sketch shows the view looking downstream (south-east) towards the Isola Tiberina, an island in the middle of the River Tiber, linked to the rest of the city by two bridges. On the right is the Ponte Cestio, which connects the island with the Trastevere district on the west and on the left it is just possible to see part of the Ponte Fabricius, the oldest surviving bridge in Rome (also known as the Ponte Quattro Capi), which crosses towards the Jewish ghetto on the eastern bank. Meanwhile, visible through the central arch of the Ponte Cestio is the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge), formerly the ancient Ponte Aemilius, the remains of which can still be seen to the south of the Isola Tiberina, adjacent to the modern Ponte Palatino. In the centre of the island itself is the bell-tower of San Bartolomeo all’Isola, whilst in the background to the right can be see the circular Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium and the bell-tower of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. There are alternative views of the Isola Tiberina and its surroundings on folios 3, 4 and 4 verso (D16489 and D16490–D16491). See also the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15372; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 41) and the St Peter’s sketchbook (Tate D16212; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 52).
Verso:
Blank

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

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