Joseph Mallord William Turner

View from Santa Maria del Priorato on the Aventine Hill, with the River Tiber and Monte Testaccio


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 CXCI 6

Catalogue entry

Turner’s inscription in the bottom left-hand corner of this page reveals his viewpoint for this sketch as Santa Maria del Priorato, the Church of the Knights of Malta situated on the Aventine Hill in Rome. From this elevated position he has drawn the view looking south towards the River Tiber. The small hill left of centre is Monte Testaccio, an artificial mound constructed from a Roman pottery dump, whilst the arches in the centre of the sketch are part of a stretch of the Aurelian walls which ran from the Porta San Paolo to the Tiber and could still be seen during the nineteenth century. Sketches of this part of the city from the opposite bank of the river can be found in the St Peter’s sketchbook (see Tate D16253; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 54). Meanwhile, Turner went on to draw the view from Monte Testaccio on the next pages of this sketchbook, see folios 6 verso–8 (D16495–D16498).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop