Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches at Paestum, Including the Western End of the Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres)


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 30 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains several studies associated with Turner’s exploration of Paestum, an ancient city on a plain between the Lattari mountains and the Tyrrenhian sea, approximately twenty miles south-east of Salerno. The site was most famous for its three fifth-century BC Greek temples which had been rediscovered at the end of the eighteenth century. The main sketch on this sheet depicts the western end of the Temple of Athena (formerly known as the Temple of Ceres), which as Turner shows has six columns at the front and three steps leading up to the interior, as well as a partially preserved entablature and pediment.1 In the sky above there is a separate study of the decorative detail at the top of one of Doric columns. In the distance to the right can be seen the relative position of the Second Temple of Hera (formerly known as the Temple of Neptune). For a depiction of the eastern end of the Temple of Athena see folio 33 (D15972; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 31).
Inverted on the page are three further drawings depicting general views of Paestum. For a more detailed discussion and other sketches of the temples see folio 31 (D15968; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 29).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

First identified by Powell 1984, p.425.

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