The Column of Antoninus Pius, Rome, was dedicated to that Emperor in 161 AD by his successors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus. It was erected near the hill of Monte Citorio. Having become partly buried it was excavated and lifted but further damaged and dismantled. The base was restored, and erected in the Piazza di Montecitorio in 1741, but was later taken to the Vatican Museums and now stands outside the entrance. Turner shows two sides, to the left right that depicting the apotheosis of Antoninus, in which a winged genius carries the Emperor and his wife Faustina heavenwards, and to the right the dedicatory inscription. In Diagram 49 (Tate D17066; Turner Bequest CXCV 96), which he seems to have traced to make the guiding lines for the present drawing, Turner showed the pedestal and the relief of cavalry and soldiers on the other side.
Turner’s draft for Lecture 4 as Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy1 contains a discussion of the pedestal.
Turner, ‘Royal Academy Lectures’, circa 1807–38, Department of Western Manuscripts, British Library, London, ADD MS 46151 M folio 32 verso.
Blank, save for an inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘95’ bottom left
Supported by The Samuel H. Kress Foundation