Joseph Mallord William Turner

Temple of Venus and Roma, Rome, from the Esquiline Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 90

Catalogue entry

The subject of this inverted sketch is the Temple of Venus and Roma, seen from the Esquiline Hill, with the adjacent bell-tower of Santa Francesca Romana to the right. On the left-hand side is part of the Colosseum and the distant Arch of Constantine. For another sketch of the Temple see folio 75 (D16292; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 74). Turner’s location may have been a point near the Torre dei Capocci, a medieval tower on the Via Cavour near the Church of San Martino ai Monti, which might also be the structure briefly outlined in the bottom right-hand corner.
Turner made a number of sketches depicting the view in different directions from the Esquiline Hill in Rome, see folios 90 verso–92 (D16322–D16325; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 89a–91).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

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