Joseph Mallord William Turner

Temple of Minerva Medica, Rome


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 56

Catalogue entry

This page contains two views of the so-called Temple of Minerva Medica and surrounding structures on the Esquiline Hill. Today the Temple can be found within a built-up suburb dominated by the railway lines leading to Termini station but in the nineteenth century it was more of a wasteland of Roman ruins. The Temple lay within a modern vineyard which Eustace recorded also contained ‘various subterranean vaulted apartments, some more, some less ornamented, the receptacles of the dead of various families.’1 Within this quarter could furthermore be found the remains of five aqueducts including the arches of the Aqua Claudio and Anio Novus converging at the nearby Porta Maggiore, and the Aqua Marcia, Tepula and Julia.2 Also in the vicinity was a castellum, terminus or distribution basin for these aqueducts, possibly the towered structure visible to the right. This building could be found approximately 100 metres south-east of the Temple until it was destroyed by fire in 1880.3
For a general discussion and further studies of the Temple see folio 56 (D15401, CLXXXII 55).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

John Chetwode Eustace, A Classical Tour Through Italy, London 1815, 3rd edition, vol.I, p.391.
Mariana Starke, Information and Directions for Travellers on the Continent, Paris 1826, fifth edition p.142.

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