Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Amphitheatre and the City Walls, Pompeii, from the North

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15788
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 27

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is a view of the Amphitheatre and a section of the eastern walls of Pompeii from the north. On the left-hand side of the vista is part of a ruined rectangular tower, one of several which punctuated the perimeter of the city walls.1 Visible in the distance is Monte Faito, part of the Lattari mountain range which forms the Sorrentine peninsula. During the period of Turner’s visit in 1819, the Amphitheatre was virtually the only landmark of importance which had been excavated on the eastern side of the site. The artist made a number of studies of the structure, see also folios 17 verso–19 (D15769–D15772).
For further studies and a general discussion of Turner’s visit to Pompeii see the introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

1
Known as Tower VI.

Read full Catalogue entry

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