Joseph Mallord William Turner

View from Villa d’Este, Tivoli, including the Rocca Pia

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 112 x 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14995
Turner Bequest CLXXIX 37 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains a swiftly drawn landscape sketch from a hillside location looking towards distant hills. As Cecilia Powell identified, the tower in the middle distance represents part of the Rocca Pia, Tivoli’s fifteenth-century castle.1 Turner’s viewpoint therefore was the Villa d’Este, a sixteenth-century villa and formal Renaissance garden built for Cardinal Ippolito d’Este (1509–1572), the son of Lucrezia Borgia. The artist made several studies of the panoramic view from the terrace of the Gran Loggia, see folio 38 verso (D14997), and this sketch depicts the vista looking south-east towards Monte Catillo. A similar but more detailed composition can be found in the Tivoli sketchbook (Tate D15477; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 11).
The drawing spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-spread, see folio 38 (D14996).

Nicola Moorby
January 2010

1
Powell 1984, p.410.

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