Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Well and Tholos in the Triangular Forum, Pompeii


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 CLXXXV 14 a

Catalogue entry

The Triangular Forum in Pompeii is a piazza located at the southern edge of the city adjacent to the theatre area. This sketch depicts the ruins of a sacred round well at the southern end of the Forum which is surrounded by the remains of seven Doric columns which once formed a tholos (a circular building) over the structure.1 The adjacent objects represent fragments of various altars and tombs and dominating the background is the distant Lattari mountain of the Sorrentine peninsula. For alternative studies relating to the Triangular Forum see folio 16–16 verso, 24–24 verso, 26 verso (D15766–D15767, D15782–D15783, D15787). For further sketches and a general discussion of Turner’s visit to Pompeii see the introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

Part of the present-day tholos has been more extensively reconstructed. See, accessed September 2010.

Read full Catalogue entry

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