Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of the Cascatelli and Monte Catillo, Tivoli, from the Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 200 × 253 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 38

Catalogue entry

Turner’s exploration of Tivoli included a large number of landscape sketches drawn from the river valley to the north. This page contains a view of the cascatelli (or cascatelle), the lesser cascades of the Aniene, where a branch of the river flowed from an underground passage and emerged in streams down the slopes at the northern tip of the town. The view is drawn from the floor of the valley looking east towards Monte Catillo, with the town at the top on the right-hand side. Silhouetted along the horizon is a medieval watch-tower near the substructures of the Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani), whilst in the centre of the vista are the falls of the cascatelli, spilling down the promontory in stages. Like many drawings within this sketchbook, the composition has been executed over a washed grey background. Turner has created highlights within the work by rubbing or lifting out the wash to reveal the white paper beneath, principally to create the silvery streams of the cascades.
Similar views can be seen on folios 29, 30, 37 (D15496, D15497, D15504), and in the Tivoli and Rome sketchbook (Tate D15016–D40926; Turner Bequest 48–52a). Turner also depicted the cascatelli looking west towards the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore, see folio 3 (D15469). Today the smaller cascades have disappeared due to the divergence of the River Aniene away from the centre of Tivoli, and have been replaced by the great waterfall of Villa Gregoriana.
Blank, except for traces of grey watercolour wash

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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