Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rome, Looking South from the Janiculum Hill, with San Pietro in Montorio


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 40 a

Catalogue entry

Like many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century visitors to Rome, part of Turner’s exploration of the city included the panoramic views seen from certain elevated vantage points. One of the most famous of these was the Janiculum Hill (or Gianicolo), a ridge of high ground to the west of the River Tiber which offered sweeping vistas across the historical centre of the capital. Cecilia Powell has identified this view as looking south across the Trastevere quarter of the city. Turner’s viewpoint was from the oak of Torquato Tasso and identifiable landmarks include the Ponte Sisto spanning the River Tiber in the middle distance on the far left and the Church of San Pietro in Montorio on the right. The artist completed a more detailed drawing of a similar view in the Rome: Colour Studies Sketchbook (see Tate D16338; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 12).
Sketches of the view looking north can be found on folios 39 verso-40 (D15369–D15370). For a general discussion of Tasso’s oak and other sketches from the Janiculum see folio 39 verso (D15369).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

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