Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches: View of a Villa at Frascati; and Entrance to Marino with the Public Washhouse


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 27 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscription ‘Villa Borgashe’ is likely to be a mis-spelling of ‘Borghese’, and therefore possibly refers to the Villa Borghese, also known as the Villa Parisi or the Villa Taverna, one of the many grand summer houses built for the great papal families during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. If this is the case however, Turner’s viewpoint in this sketch is not clear. He appears to have drawn the view looking north towards Mount Soracte (also known as Soratte) near Rome but the geography of the landscape also appears to slope steeply away on the right, which would not in fact be the case. The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 28 (D15347).
On the left-hand side of the page is a separate sketch drawn with the book held in portrait format which depicts the entrance to the town of Marino near Lake Albano. The tower at the bottom of the hill on the left and the rectangular trough with scrolled architectural detailing indicate the public washhouse, see folio 28 (D15347). The composition of the view is almost identical to that in a drawing by James Hakewill, At the Entrance to Marino from Albano 1817 (British School at Rome Library), which Turner would almost certainly have known.1 It also recalls his small pen and ink copy of the view by John ‘Warwick’ Smith in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (see Tate D13969; Turner Bequest CLXXII 20).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.5.23, p.248 reproduced.

Read full Catalogue entry

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