The subject of this sketch is a view of St Peter’s in Rome. Turner’s location is a point outside the western perimeter of the Vatican walls, near to Torre San Giovanni, looking east across to the famous basilica and Michelangelo’s distinctive dome. The viewpoint is very similar to that of an oil painting by Vanvitelli (Gaspar van Wittel, 1653–1736), L’abside di San Pietro dai giardini Vaticani (private collection).1 Like many drawings within this sketchbook, this composition has been executed over a washed grey background and Turner has created areas of pale highlights by lifting or rubbing through to the white paper beneath. He has also employed naturalistic touches of red chalk to indicate the brickwork of the wall in the foreground.
Reproduced in colour in Cesare de Seta, L’Italia del Grand Tour da Montaigne a Goethe, Naples 1996, p.139.
?Blank (float mounted to support).