Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Arch of Augustus, Fano


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 × 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 59

Catalogue entry

Finberg correctly identified the subject as the Roman Arch of Augustus at Fano. Turner shows the south-western face of the arch, which spans what is now appropriately the Via Arco d’Augusto with the west end of the small church of San Michele in the foreground to the right. The stumps of columns above the main arch survive, but the upper storey of the church’s façade is now plain brick.
Oddly, despite going to the effort of recording as much of the monumental inscription as he could make out with considerable care, Turner appears to have distractedly truncated the view by making the space to the right of the main arch too narrow and excluding the small pedestrian archway there, which mirrors the one to the left. To the right of the church door he notes the curious and delicately carved bass relief reconstruction of the elevation of the arch with its original upper arcade.
Other views around Fano are noted under folio 62 verso (D14602; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 58a); because of this relatively extensive treatment, James Hamilton has suggested that Turner spent a night there.1 For Cecilia Powell’s comments on the relatively uneventful phase of Turner’s journey between leaving Rimini and reaching Ancona (folios 61 recto–69 recto; D14599–D14613; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 57–65), see under D14599.2

Matthew Imms
March 2017

See Hamilton 2009, p.42; see also Hamilton 2008, p.44.
See Powell 1984, pp.92, 466 note 108.

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