This is an experimental study for Tivoli, the vignette that Turner produced for Rogers’s Italy. The finished version of this subject shows a view of the circular Temple of Vesta (also known as the Temple of the Tiburtine Sibyl) at Tivoli (see Tate D27683; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 166). In contrast, this unfinished study presents a dramatic view of the so-called Villa of Maecenas (now called the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore or Sanctuary of Hercules the Victor) with the Roman Campagna in the distance. A few pencil strokes on the left represent the cascades plunging over the steep sides of the gorge, whilst a low-peaked pink mountain rises in the far distance. A dusky palette of soft blues, purples and olive further enhances the romantic mood of this evocative composition. Turner produced many views of the countryside, falls, and ravines at Tivoli, which may have served him in the production of this study (see Tate D15468, D15496, D15497, D15504, D15506; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 2, 29, 30, 37, 39 and Tate D16117; CLXXXVII 29).
Inscribed by an unknown hand in blue pencil ‘216’ centre.