Joseph Mallord William Turner

Santi Quattro Coronati, Rome, from the Esquiline Hill

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
D16322
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 89 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this study is the ancient convent of Santi Quattro Coronati (or Four Crowned Saints and Martyrs) as seen from the Esquiline Hill to the north. Built in the fourth or fifth century, the church lies on the north side of the Caelian Hill, mid-distance between the Colosseum and the Basilica of San Giovanni in Laterano. Turner’s sketch depicts the high apse rounded apse on the right and the tower above the main entrance to the left. Compare a similar composition by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780–1867), View of the Cloister of SS. Quattro Coronati c.1806–20 (Musée Ingres, Montauban, France).1 See also folio 92 (D16325; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 91).
Turner made a number of sketches depicting the view in different directions from the Esquiline Hill, see folios 90 verso–92 (D16322–D16325; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 89a–91).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

1
See Hans Naef, Ingres in Rome, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington 1971, pp.72–3, no.83, reproduced.

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