Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches of the Villa Adriana, Tivoli: the Large Baths and Praetorium


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIX 34

Catalogue entry

Turner made a brief detour en route to Tivoli in order to visit the Villa Adriana, the imperial summer retreat of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. He used the time that was available to him to make several swift studies of the key buildings of interest, see folio 32 verso (D14985). Cecilia Powell first correctly identified the subjects of the sketches on this page.1 The drawing at the bottom of the sheet represents a view of the western corner of the Praetorium (a pavilion with a panoramic view overlooking the rest of the estate) with part of the Large Baths (Grande Terme) on the right. Turner’s viewpoint is standing to the north of the Praetorium looking towards the vast substructures of the foundations and the surviving traces of the walls. The drawing in the top right-hand corner represents a general view of the Large Baths (Grande Terme).

Nicola Moorby
January 2010

Powell 1984, p.410.

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