Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Rocca Pia, Tivoli, with the Rivellese Aqueduct


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 186 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIX 68 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is the Rocca Pia in Tivoli, a massive fortress with four crenallated towers, built by Pope Pius II in 1461.1 The arches to the right belong to the Acquedotto Rivellese, a sixteenth-century aqueduct built by Cardinal Ippolito II d’Este to supply water to the Villa d’Este.2 The aqueduct was demolished at the beginning of the twentieth century. Further views of the castle can be found on folio 74 verso–76, 82 verso, 83 verso (D15065–D15069, D15082, D15084; Turner Bequest CLXXIX 73a–5, 81a, 82a). As a young man, Turner made copies of related views by other artists, see Dr Monro’s Album of Italian Views (Tate D36453 and D36454; Turner Bequest CCCLXXIII 40).
In the bottom right-hand corner is a very rough separate sketch which Turner has annotated ‘Belongs to the Gate of Tiv[oli]’.

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

Compare a watercolour by Friedrich Horner (1800–1864), Il Castello di Tivoli 1850, reproduced in colour in Silvia Visino, I Pittori del Grand Tour: Viaggio a Roma alla ricerca delle aure, Latina 1994, no.55, p.90.
See Franco Sciarretta, Storia di Tivoli, Tivoli 2003, p.91, fig.38.

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