Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Vatican Museums, Including a Relief of the Three Graces and a Statue of a Man with the Head of Lucius Verus

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 101 x 161 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15163
Turner Bequest CLXXX 30 a

Catalogue entry

During his 1819 stay in Rome, one of Turner’s most extensive sketching campaigns was the large number of pencil studies made from the sculpture collections of the Vatican Museums (for a general discussion, see the introduction to the sketchbook). This page contains sketches of six monuments, some or all of which were found in the Museo Chiaramonti. The sketches are numbered from top left to bottom right:
a.
Cecilia Powell has identified the sketch in the top left-hand corner as a fragment of relief in the Museo Chiaramonti.1 The detail depicts the figure of a woman seen from the back with a snake.
b.
The sketch second from top left depicts a figure on a dolphin or fish. It probably represents part of a sculptural relief, although the source is currently unidentified.
c.
Powell has identified the sketch second from the top right-hand corner as a relief of the Three Graces, also from the Museo Chiaramonti.2
d.
Powell has identified the sketch on the far right-hand side as the statue of a man with the head of Lucius Verus, which today is found in the collections of the Museo Braccio Nuovo.3
e.
Powell has identified the sketch in the bottom left-hand corner as a fragment of a relief from the Museo Chiaramonti.4 The detail depicts two women, one of whom is standing in a chariot.
f.
Powell has identified the sketch at the bottom centre as a fragment of a relief from the Museo Chiaramonti.5 The detail depicts two figures framed by a building with columns and a pediment.

Nicola Moorby
November 2009

1
Powell 1984, p.414. See Walther Amelung, Die Sculpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin 1903–8, vol.I, ‘Museo Chiaramonti I Seite 309–560’, no.549, pp.678–9, reproduced pl.73, top right.
2
Ibid. See Amelung 1903–8, vol.I, no.360, pp.546–8, reproduced pl.58, top centre.
3
Ibid. See Amelung 1903–8, vol.I, ‘Braccio Nuovo. Galleria Lapidaria. Museo Chiaramonti. Giardino della Pigna’, no.123, pp.148–9, reproduced pl.19.
4
Ibid. See Amelung 1903–8, vol.I, ‘Museo Chiaramonti I Seite 309–560’, no.501, pp.642–3, reproduced pl.69, top left.
5
Ibid. See Amelung 1903–8, vol.I, no.499, p.641, reproduced pl.69, top right.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like