Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tivoli seen from the Valley, with the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore and the Piazza dell’Olmo


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 58 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts part of view of Tivoli from the river valley to the north. Turner’s viewpoint appears to be looking north-east from a position on the road leading down the hill from the so-called Tempio della Tosse towards the banks of the River Aniene and the Ponte dell’Acquoria, now dominated by an electrical power plant. The building with the tower on the right-hand side is the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore (Sanctuary of Hercules the Victor), an ancient Roman temple, formerly known as the Villa of Maecenas. To the left of this is the campanile of the Cathedral (Duomo) of San Lorenzo and the arcades supporting the Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani). The spur of land at the centre of the composition, topped by a medieval watch-tower, is the point where part of the river flowed from an underground passage and emerged in cascades down the slopes. A similar view can be seen on folio 45 verso (D15011) and more detailed drawings can be found in the Tivoli sketchbook (see Tate D15472, D15482, D15487, D15493, D15508, D15509; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 6, 16, 21, 2641, 41a).

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

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