Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of the So-Called Temple of Vesta, Tivoli


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 186 × 112 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIX 4

Catalogue entry

The so-called Temple of Vesta is an ancient circular edifice dating from the first century BC which stands on the brink of the gorge at the northern edge of Tivoli. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries it represented an important site for the study of classical architecture and was one of the most popular motifs for artists visiting Italy. This page contains two sketches depicting the ruin from different angles. The semi-circle of surviving Corinthian columns incorporates ten remaining from the original eighteen, whilst the fragment visible in the centre is the remains of the cella, or inner chamber. Turner made a large number of studies of the temple from a variety of angles. For a full discussion see folio 2 (D14935).

Nicola Moorby
January 2010

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