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 a sketch of an unidentified grave altar, probably found in the Galleria Lapidaria (Lapidary Gallery) of the Museo Chiaramonti. Turner has transcribed the Latin inscription from the monument as ‘DIS MANIBUS | VIX.XXX | AHERENNVIEIVS | CEYGO | BENEMERENTI . FECIT’. The first line translates as ‘To the spirits of the departed’, and is a common phrase on Roman funerary monuments.
There is also a separate rough sketch inverted at the bottom of the page which appears to depict a view of a building through arched windows. Finberg described it as a distant view of St Peter’s.
- symbols & personifications(7,227)