Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tivoli from the Valley


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 51 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s made a large number of landscape sketches of Tivoli drawn from the river valley to the north. This page contains a view of the spur of land at the northern tip of the town, topped by a medieval watch-tower, where part of the River Aniene flowed from an underground passage and emerged in streams down the slopes of the gorge. The sketch is drawn from the floor of the valley at a point beneath the Santuario di Quintiliolo. The so-called Temples of Vesta and the Sibyl are just out of sight round the corner on the left-hand side of the composition, whilst, to the right, would be the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore (Sanctuary of Hercules the Victor). Turner has used rough hatching and shading to describe the steep craggy slopes, lush vegetation and cascades of falling water. Similar views can be seen on folios 48–52 verso and 55 (D15016–D40926 and D15027), and in the Tivoli sketchbook (Tate D15467; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 1).

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

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