Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Peter’s and the Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome, from Monte Mario

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 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16180
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 12 a

Catalogue entry

Turner made a number of on-the-spot sketches and more elaborate drawings of the view of Rome from Monte Mario. This page depicts part of the view looking south towards St Peter’s and the Castel Sant’Angelo. The building glimpsed at the far right-hand edge of the sketch meanwhile is probably the Villa Madama, a sixteenth-century suburban residence built on the eastern slopes of Monte Mario, see folio 13 verso (D16182). The eaves of the roofline correspond to those more clearly depicted in another drawing (see Tate D16352; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 26).
As Finberg identified, the viewpoint of this sketch is very close to a more detailed tonal composition in the Roman Colour Studies sketchbook (Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 31; Tate D16357).1 This in turn provided the basis for a finished watercolour, Rome, from Monte Mario c.1820 (private collection), painted on Turner’s return to England, for his friend and patron, Walter Fawkes.2
For a general discussion of Turner’s views from Monte Mario see folio 9 verso (D16174).

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

1
Finberg 1909, vol.I, p.558
2
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, no.719.

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