Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of the So-Called Temple of Diana at Baiae


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 × 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 80

Catalogue entry

As Cecilia Powell first identified,1 the subject of these two sketches is the so-called Temple of Diana, a Roman bath-house with a vaulted half-dome roof which is one of a number of ruined buildings in the ancient bathing resort of the Bay of Baiae.2 Further studies can be found on folios 80 verso, 85 and 92 (D15714, D15723 and D15737; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 78a, 83 and 90). The ruin features in Turner’s later oil painting, The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and the Sibyl exhibited 1823 (Tate, N00505).3

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

Powell 1984, p.425.
For sketches of the ‘temple’ by other artists see John Robert Cozens (1752–97), The Temple of Diana on the Bay of Baia ?1782, (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester), reproduced at|AdmWebMetadata&Submit=Search; a drawing by Robert Adam (1728–92) from ?1755 (Sir John Soane’s Museum), reproduced at, accessed June 2010; and John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831), Remains of the Temple of Diana on the Coast of Baia, near Naples 1808 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), reproduced in Francis W. Hawcroft, Travels in Italy 1776–1783: Based on the “Memoirs” of Thomas Jones, exhibition catalogue, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 1988, no.138, p.114.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, no.230.

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