Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of the Aurelian Walls, Rome, with the Temple of Minerva Medica and the Porta San Lorenzo


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 130 × 255 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CXC 27 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts a view of the Aurelian Walls in Rome with the circular Temple of Minerva Medica visible beyond. Turner’s location is not, as Finberg suggested near the Protestant Cemetery, but north-east of the centre of the city, near the Church of San Lorenzo fuori le mura. On the far right is the Porta San Lorenzo (also known as the Porta Tiburtina). Like many drawings within this sketchbook, the pencil work has been executed over a washed grey background.
Related compositions can be found on folios 65 and 66 (Tate D16437–D16438; Turner Bequest CXC 28–29) and in the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (see Tate D15432–D15434; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 70a–71a). There is also a coloured version of the subject in the Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16363; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 36).

Nicola Moorby
June 2009

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