Turner’s made a large number of sketches of the cascatelli (or cascatelle) of Tivoli, the lesser cascades where part of the River Aniene flowed from an underground passage and emerged in streams down the slopes at the northern tip of the town. This sketch is drawn from the floor of the valley looking east. The tower in the top right-hand corner is a medieval watch-tower near the Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani). Turner has used rough hatching and shading to describe the steep craggy slopes, lush vegetation and stream of falling water. Similar views can be seen on folios 48–52 verso (D15016–D40926) and in the Tivoli sketchbook (Tate D15496, D15497, D15504, D15505; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 29, 30, 37, 38). He also explored the tonal properties of the cascades (see for example Tate D15467; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 1). Today the numerous smaller waterfalls have disappeared due to the divergence of the River Aniene away from the centre of Tivoli, and have been replaced by the great waterfall of Villa Gregoriana.
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