Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Tiber, Rome, Looking towards the Ponte Rotto and the Capitoline Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXCI 4 a

Catalogue entry

Turner made a large number of drawings with the River Tiber as the central focus. This sketch shows the view looking upstream from the eastern bank at the foot of the Aventine Hill towards the Isola Tiberina. Identifiable landmarks are, from left to right: the Porto di Ripa Grande, evident from the collection of boats along the opposite shore; the ruined arches of the Ponte Rotto; the circular Temple of Hercules Victor (sometimes called the Temple of Vesta or Temple of the Sun), with the rectangular Temple of Portunus behind (described erroneously during Turner’s day as the Temple of Fortuna Virilis); the Capitoline Hill with the Tower of the Senatorial Palace on the Campidoglio; the Torre dei Milizie; and, on the far right-hand side, the bell-tower of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
For a similar view see folio 5 verso (D16493) and the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15373; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 41a). Meanwhile, a sketch from the same location looking in the opposite direction can be found on folio 5 (D16492). For other views of the Tiber in this sketchbook see folios 2–4 verso and 6 (D16488–D16491 and D16494).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

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