Joseph Mallord William Turner

View Looking North-West from Monte Testaccio, Rome, with the Distant Dome of St Peter’s


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 8 a

Catalogue entry

Turner made a series of drawings from the high vantage point of Monte Testaccio, an artificial hill in southern Rome constructed from a Roman pottery dump, see folios 6 verso–8 verso (D16495–D16499). This sketch records the view looking north-west. Identifiable landmarks include, from left to right: the Janiculum Hill with the distant dome of St Peter’s beyond; the Church of San Pietro in Montorio; Monte Mario in the far distance; the Castel Sant’Angelo; and the two domes of the Santa Maria dei Miracoli and Santa Maria in Montesanto in the Piazza del Popolo. In the left-hand foreground is a surviving section of the Aurelian walls which during the early nineteenth century still ran from the Porta San Paolo to the River Tiber. A small part of the drawing spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 9 (D16500). A similar view from the opposite bank of the river can be found in the St Peter’s sketchbook (Tate D16252; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 53a).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

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