Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Sala del Fauno and Sala del Galata of the Palazzo Nuovo in the Capitoline Museums, Rome

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 161 x 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15216
Turner Bequest CLXXX 57

Catalogue entry

In addition to sketching in the Vatican Museums, Turner made a thorough study of the ancient Greek and Roman sculptures in the Palazzo Nuovo of the Capitoline Museums. The drawings on this page represent works from the Sala del Fauno and the Sala del Galata (Hall of the Dying Gaul, formerly known as the Stanza del Gladiatore), so called because of the statue of Capitoline Gaul placed in the centre of the room. All of the subjects were first identified by Cecilia Powell. The studies are numbered first from the top, and secondly, with the page inverted, top left to bottom right:
a.
The sketches at the top of the page both represent an altar dedicated to Jupiter Optimus Maximus Sol Sarapis from the Sala del Fauno.1 On the left is a small general study of the shape of the altar, whilst on the right is the sculptural relief from the front depicting a warrior mounted on a bull and a reclining figure of Tellus with a child.2 Further sketches of the back and sides of the object can be found on folios 57 and 57 verso (D15214–D15215; Turner Bequest CLXXX 56–56a). The altar can also be seen in a near-contemporaneous drawing by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Rome. Antiques of the Capitol 1817 (British School at Rome Library).3
The remaining sketches have been executed with the page inverted and all represent works from the Sala del Galata:
b.
The sketch in the top left-hand corner is a statue of a resting satyr, sometimes known as the Faun of Praxiteles owing to its resemblance to the work of the celebrated Greek sculptor.4
c.
The sketch at the top centre depicts a sculpture of an embracing Eros and Psyche.5 The sculpture can also be seen in two near-contemporaneous drawings by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Rome. Antiques of the Capitol. Stanza del Gladiatore moribondo and Antiques of the Capitol. Rome 1817 (both British School at Rome Library).6
d.
The sketch in the top right-hand corner depicts a statue of Hermes, sometimes known as the Capitoline Antinous.7 The sculpture, which Turner has depicted from the side, stands upon an altar to Hercules, see folio 57 verso (D15215; Turner Bequest CLXXX 56a).
e.
The sketch on the left-hand side of the central row represents part of the gravestone of C. Calpurnius Berillus.8
f.
The sketch in the centre of the central row represents a griffin from a tripod which bears a statue of a girl protecting a dove.9 Turner would have seen in the object in the Sala del Galata, although today it can be found in the Sala delle Colombe (Hall of Doves).
g.
The sketch on the right-hand side of the central row represents part of the gravestone of Atimetus Pamphilus, freedman of Tiberius.10

Nicola Moorby
November 2009

1
Powell 1984, p.420; H. Stuart Jones, A Catalogue of the Ancient Sculptures preserved in the Municipal Collections of Rome. The Sculptures of the Museo Capitolino, Oxford 1912, ‘Stanza del Fauno’ no.1A, p.310. See also the Capitoline Museums online collection records, http://www.museicapitolini.net/urn?urn=urn:collectio:0001:scu:01958, accessed November 2009.
2
Jones 1912, reproduced pl.83, no.IAI.
3
See Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.5M.29, reproduced p.328.
4
Powell 1984, p.421; Jones 1912, ‘Stanza del Gladiatore’ no.10 as ‘Resting Satyr’, p.350, reproduced pl.87. See also http://www.museicapitolini.net/urn?urn=urn:collectio:0001:scu:00739.
5
Powell 1984, p.421; Jones 1912, ‘Gabinetto della Venere’ no.3, p.185, reproduced pl.45. Turner would have seen the work in the Sala del Galata, where it can also be found today, although it was in various other locations between 1880 and 1945. See http://www.museicapitolini.net/urn?urn=urn:collectio:0001:scu:00408.
6
See Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, nos.5M.32 and 5M.38, reproduced pp.332 and 341.
7
Powell 1984, p.421; Jones 1912, ‘Stanza del Gladiatore’ no.12, p.351, reproduced pl.87. See also http://www.museicapitolini.net/urn?urn=urn:collectio:0001:scu:00741.
8
Powell 1984, p.421; Jones 1912, ‘Stanza del Gladiatore’ no.14a, p.353, reproduced pl.89. See also http://www.museicapitolini.net/urn?urn=urn:collectio:0001:scu:01967.
9
Powell 1984, p.421; Jones 1912, ‘Stanza del Gladiatore’ no.9a, p.349, reproduced pl.87. See also http://www.museicapitolini.net/urn?urn=urn:collectio:0001:scu:01964.
10
Powell 1984, p.421; Jones 1912, ‘Stanza del Gladiatore’ no.12a, p.352, reproduced pl.89. See also http://www.museicapitolini.net/urn?urn=urn:collectio:0001:scu:01966.

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