Joseph Mallord William Turner

Three Views in Rome: Including the Porta San Lorenzo and the Temple of Minerva Medica


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 71

Catalogue entry

This page contains three sketches. The main view in the top left-hand corner is a study of the Porta San Lorenzo, also known as the Porta Tiburtina, a gate in the Aurelian Walls on the eastern side of the city, near the basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura. Turner drew a number of studies of the gate from various angles, see folios 63 verso and 71 verso (D15416 and D15432; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 62a and 71) and St Peter’s sketchbook (Tate D16317; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 87). He also recorded the distant view of Porta San Lorenzo from the road approaching the inner side, see folios 62 verso and 69 (D15414 and D15427; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 61a and 68). The view here is similar to that in an engraving by Italian vedutisti, Giuseppe Vasi (1710–1782).1
The location of the lower sketch remains unidentified but it appears to show a tower with a gateway. In the far corner of the bottom left-hand side is the continuation of the view of the Aurelian Walls from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 71 verso (D15432; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 70a). The third sketch is drawn with the sketchbook held vertically along the top edge of the page. This depicts a view of the Temple of Minerva of Medica and the buildings surrounding it. Related compositions can be found in the Small Roman C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16436–D16438; Turner Bequest CXC 27a–29) and the Rome C. Studies sketchbook (see Tate D16363; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 36). For a general discussion of the Temple and further sketches see folio 56 (D15401; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 55).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

See, accessed April 2009.

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