Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of Panoramic View of Rome from the Tower of the Capitol: The Corso to Trajan’s Forum

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 × 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16296
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 76

Catalogue entry

This sketch is part of a view of Rome encompassing the Vatican in the north to the Forum of Trajan in the east. As Cecilia Powell first identified, the prospect is taken from the tower of the Senatorial Palace on the Capitoline Hill, one of the most popular vantage points in the city.1 Turner made a complete record of the 360-degree view from the tower spread across four double-page spreads, see folios 74 verso–79 (D16293–D16300; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 74a–78). For a general discussion see folio 74 verso (D16293; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 74a).
The identifiable features within this background of this sketch include (from left to right): the Corso; the Villa Medici; the Pincio and Trinità dei Monti; the Villa Borghese; and the Quirinal Palace. The buildings in the foreground comprise (from left to right): the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli; the dome of Santa Maria di Loretto; Trajan’s Column; the dome of Santissimo Nome di Maria; and on the far right-hand side, along the foredge of the page, the square terraced structure of the Torre delle Milizie. The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 76 verso (D16295; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 75a). The next sections of the panorama can be found on folio 77 verso (D16297; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 76a) and folio 78 verso (D16299; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 77a).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

1
Powell 1984, pp.223 and 427.

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