Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views from near Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano, Rome; with Santi Quattro Coronati and the Colosseum; and a Distant View of the Temple of Minerva Medica


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 89

Catalogue entry

The subject of these two panoramic sketches represents two views seen from the same point near the Piazza di San Giovanni in Laterano. The lower prospect represents the view looking west and includes, from left to right: part of the side of the convent of Santi Quattro Coronati; the Colosseum; the bell-tower of the Church of San Clemente; the Torre dei Milizie; and the ruins of the Baths of Titus and Trajan, and the Domus Aurea (Golden House) of Nero. A similar composition can be seen in a sketch by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780–1867), View of the Entrance to the Convent of SS. Quattro Coronati c.1806–20 (Musée Ingres, Montauban, France).1 The upper prospect meanwhile represents the view looking east and includes surviving sections of the Aqua Claudia (Claudian Aqueduct) and the remains of the circular Temple of Minerva Medica, near present-day Termini Station. Similar views of the latter can be see on folios 71 verso and 74 verso (D16285 and D16291; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 70a and 73a).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

See Hans Naef, Ingres in Rome, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington 1971, pp.74 and 77, no.85, reproduced.

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