Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a Panoramic View of Rome from Santi Cosma e Damiano: Looking towards the Torre delle Milizie


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 73

Catalogue entry

This sketch represents part of a panoramic view sweeping across the Roman Forum towards the Capitoline Hill, and the area east of the Forum of Trajan. Turner’s vantage point for the prospect is the summit of the Church of Santi Cosma e Damiano.1 The most prominent landmark is the square tower of the Torre delle Milizie, whilst to the right of that is part of the Church of Santi Domenico e Sisto. Turner started the drawing on folios 72 verso–73 (D16287–D16288; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 71a–72) and then half-folded the paper back in order to extend the breath of the view onto the sketchbook page available beneath. Further sketches completing the circle of vision from this viewpoint can be found on folios 70 verso–71 verso (D16283–D16285; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 69a–70a). For a general discussion for the vogue for urban panoramic views see folio 75 verso (D16293; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 74a).
The page also contains part of a sketch of ruins from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 73 verso (D16289; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 72a).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

See Thomas Ashby, ‘Turner in Rome’, Burlington Magazine, vol.24, no.130, January 1914, p.218.

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