Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a Panoramic View of Rome from Santi Cosma e Damiano: Looking West across the Roman Forum towards the Capitoline Hill, Rome


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 71 a

Catalogue entry

This panoramic sketch encompasses the view looking west across the Roman Forum from a high vantage point which Thomas Ashby identified as the summit of the Church of Santi Cosama e Damiano.1 The visible landmarks include (from left to right): the ruins on the Palatine; the Church of Santa Maria Liberatrice which was demolished at the beginning of the twentieth century; the three columns of the Temple of Castor and Pollux; the Church of San Lorenzo in Miranda incorporating the classical portico of the Temple of Antoninus e Faustina; the Temple of Saturn and the adjacent Temple of Vespasian; and on the far right-hand side, the Capitoline Hill with the Campidoglio. In the background is the high ridge of the Janiculum Hill and Turner has annotated the line of the horizon with the position of the Villa Lante. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 73 (D16288; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 72) and on folio 74 (D16290; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 73). 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).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

Ashby 1914, p.218.

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