Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Vatican Museums, Including an Ash Urn and a Plaited Basket with a Lid

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 × 101 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15144
Turner Bequest CLXXX 20 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 five objects, some or all of which were probably found in the Museo Chiaramonti. The studies are numbered from top to bottom:
a.
The sketch at the top depicts an unidentified architectural feature
b.
Cecilia Powell has identified the second sketch from the top as an ash urn in the Museo Chiaramonti.1
c.
An unidentified sculptural fragment decorated with a stylised leaf design.
d.
An unidentified sculptural fragment featuring a head and figures.
e.
Powell has identified the last sketch on this page as an ash urn in the form of a plaited basket with a lid,2 found in the Galleria Lapidaria (Lapidary Gallery).3

Nicola Moorby
November 2009

1
Powell 1984, p.413. See Walther Amelung, Die Sculpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin 1903–8, vol.I, ‘3. Museo Chiaramonti I Seite 309–560’, no.269E, p.489, reproduced pl.50, centre bottom.
2
Powell 1984, p.413.
3
See Amelung 1903–8, vol.I, ‘2. Galleria Lapidaria Seite 161–308’, no.74b, pp.218–9, reproduced pl.26.

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