Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a Panoramic View of Rome from Santi Cosma e Damiano: the Caelian and Palatine Hills, 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 69 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch incorporates a panoramic view from a high vantage point to the north of the Roman Forum, looking south-east across towards the Caelian and Palatine Hills. Thomas Ashby identified Turner’s location as the summit of the Church of Santi Cosma e Damiano.1 The visible landmarks on this side include (from left to right): part of the roof of the ruined Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius; the bell-tower of Santa Francesca Romana; the Church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo on the Caelian Hill; the Arch of Titus; and on the far right-hand side, part of the basilica Church of San Sebastiano al Palatino, on the Palatine Hill. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 71 (D16284; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 70) and further sketches completing the circle of vision from this viewpoint can be found on folios 71 verso–74 (D16285–D16290; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 70a–73). 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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