Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Tiber Looking towards the Ponte Molle, Rome


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 38 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts the countryside on the northern outskirts of Rome with the meandering course of the River Tiber. Turner’s viewpoint is from Monte Parioli, an area of high ground now occupied by the Villa Glori park, looking downstream (west) towards the Ponte Molle, three arches and the tower of which are visible in the centre. On the banks of a curve in the river to the right is a circular tower, possibly the Torre Lazzaroni, see folio 38 (D16220; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 37). The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 40 (D16224). Turner made a number of sketches of this part of the Campagna and the Ponte Molle, possibly inspired by its associations with Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain, see folio 36 (D16217; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 35). The building on the far left of the composition also appears in a coloured study in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (see Tate D16133; CLXXXVII 45).

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

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