Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views of the Forum, Rome


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 63 a

Catalogue entry

Turner thoroughly explored the Roman Forum (Campo Vaccino) and made numerous sketches from various angles. The central focus of this view of the north-west end looking east is the eight remaining columns of the Temple of Saturn. In the background on the left is the dome of the Church of Santi Luca e Martina and the Curia with the ruined Temple of Vespasian in front. In the foreground Turner has drawn washing hanging in lines, an indication of the common and practical uses to which the Forum, known as the Campo Vaccino was often put during the nineteenth century.
In the top right-hand corner is a separate view which appears to be a schematic depiction of the three Corinthian capitals of the Temple of Castor and Pollux and the roofs of various adjacent buildings. For a general discussion of the Forum see folio 32 (D15355).
The sketches are inverted on the page.

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

Read full Catalogue entry

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