Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Villa d’Este, Tivoli, seen from the Porta del Colle


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 45

Catalogue entry

This page contains a sketch of the Villa d’Este, a sixteenth-century villa and formal Renaissance garden built for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este (1509–1572), the son of Lucrezia Borgia. Turner’s sketch depicts the outer walls and substructures of the estate, as seen from the Porta del Colle, a medieval gate with swallow-tail castellations, which stands on present-day Via del Orti at the western edge of Tivoli, below the Villa d’Este. On the left-hand side of the gate is an oblique view of the Fontana dei Vasconi, a fountain with rusticated pilasters, also built by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este. The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 44 verso (D15009). A similar vista can be found in the Tivoli sketchbook (see Tate D15477; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 11).
In the bottom left-hand corner is an inverted sketch of a house with a round window. This may depict the same building in Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani) visible within a detailed landscape view of the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore (formerly the Villa of Maecenas) in the Tivoli sketchbook (see Tate D15470; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 4).

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

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