Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of Panoramic View of Rome from the Tower of the Capitol: The Janiculum to St Peter’s


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 75

Catalogue entry

This sketch is part of a view of Rome encompassing the Aventine Hill in the south to St Peter’s in the north. 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 sketch include (from left to right): the ridge of the Janiculum Hill running across at the top; at the bottom the dome of Santa Maria in Campitelli; in the centre the dome of San Carlo ai Catinari; on the far right-hand side the dome of San Andrea della Valle; and in the top right-hand corner, St Peter’s and the Vatican. The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 75a (D16293; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 74a) and the next section of the panorama can be found on folio 76 verso (D16295; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 75a). The blank space in the bottom right-hand corner should be occupied by the Capitoline Palace, see folio 79 (D16300; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 78).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

Powell 1984, pp.223 and 427.

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