Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Albano from the Via Appia

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15298
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 2

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts a view of Albano from the gate near the Via Appia, the road which leads from Rome to the south of Italy.1 The tower visible on the far right is a tomb, sometimes called the Tomb of Pompey, or Ascanius, a three-storey structure, approximately 45 metres in height which lies on the left of the road as soon as it enters Albano. The surface of the tower is punctuated by square blocks. Andrew Lumisden described it in 1812 as ‘the remains of a magnificent mausoleum ... incrusted with marble, and each story ornamented with columns, no doubt of different orders. Though robbed of these columns and the incrustation, yet the bells, or praecinationes of these stories, and the marble blocks to which they were fixed still remain, and point out its former state’.2 The tomb was recorded by Piranesi in his Antichità d’Albano e di Castel Gandolfo 1764,3 and in a 1796 drawing by Carlo Labruzzi, the artist who accompanied Richard Colt Hoare on his journey through Italy in 1789.4
Other sketches of the tomb appear on folios 2 verso, 17 verso and 83 of this sketchbook (D15299, D15326, D15454; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 2a, 17a and 82).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

1
The same view can be seen in a drawing by Charles Joseph Lecointe, see Francesco Petrucci e Susanna Marra, Vedute dei Colli Albani e di Roma dall’album di viaggio di Charles Joseph Lecointe (1824–1886), exhibition catalogue, Palazzo Chigi, Ariccia 2006, no.17, p.35, reproduced.
2
Andrew Lumisden, Remarks on the Antiquities of Rome and Its Environs, London 1812 pp.454–5.
3
Luigi Ficacci, Piranesi: The Complete Etchings, Köln and London 2000, no.564, reproduced p.457.

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