Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a Panoramic View of Rome from Santi Cosma e Damiano: the Colosseum and the Baths of Trajan


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 70 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts a view of the remains of the Domus Aurea and Baths of Trajan from a high vantage point north of the Roman Forum. On the right-hand side is the Colosseum and part of the roof of the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius. A similar view can be found on folios 74 verso and 90 (D16291 and D16321; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 73a and 89). Turner’s location for the prospect is the summit of the Church of San Cosma e Damiano.1 Further sketches completing the circle of vision from this viewpoint can be found on folios 70 verso–71 and 72 verso–4 (D16283–D16284 and D16287–D16290; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 69a–70 and 71a–4). For a general discussion for the vogue for urban panoramic views see folio 75 verso (D16293; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 74a).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

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

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