Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Peter’s, Rome, from the West

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
D16170
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 7 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint for this distant view of St Peter’s may have been the Pineta Sacchetti, a wood of pine trees which lies to the west of the Vatican, at the foot of Monte Mario. The arched structure in the left-hand foreground has not been identified. In front of Michelangelo’s famous dome can be seen part of the ancient medieval walls at the western tip of the Vatican complex. On the left end is a machicolated tower, today occupied by Vatican Radio, whilst on the right is a second tower, the Torre San Giovanni (Tower of St John). A similar view can be found on folios 6 verso–7 (D16168–D16169).

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

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