The principal focus for this inverted sketch is the Torre dei Margani, a medieval tower adopted as the campanile (bell-tower) for the adjacent monastery of San Francesco di Paola on the Piazza di San Pietro in Vincoli. Turner’s sketch is taken from the east, somewhere on the Esquiline Hill. His view looks past the tower towards the Forum and the Capitoline Hill beyond, including the Basilica of Constantine and Maxentius on the left, and the Tower of the Campidoglio in the centre. Part of the composition may spill over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 92 (D16325; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 91).
Turner made a number of sketches depicting the view in different directions from the Esquiline Hill, see folios 90 verso–92 (D16322–D16325; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 89a–91).