Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Rome from the Janiculum Hill, Showing St Peter’s and the Oak of Torquato Tasso


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 3 a

Catalogue entry

This view of Rome is drawn from the Janiculum Hill, a high ridge of ground to the west of the River Tiber which offered sweeping panoramas across the historic centre of the city. Turner’s viewpoint is identifiable by the tree dominating the centre of the sketch. This is the oak of Torquato Tasso, a fabled Roman landmark which stands at the northern tip of the Janiculum. In the left-hand foreground is the curved terraced seating of the Teatro Alla Quercia del Tasso, a small open-air theatre near the tree. Turner made a number of sketches from this position and the prospect seen here with St Peter’s, the Vatican and the Church of Sant’Onofrio al Gianicolo is very similar to the drawing on folios 1 verso–2 (D16158–D16159). The vista continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 4 (D16163). For a discussion of other views from the Janiculum see the entry for folio 2 (D16159).

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

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