Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of the Colosseum and the Palatine Hill, Rome, from San Gregorio Magno al Celio


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 231 × 368 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 9

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts a view of the Colosseum seen from the south. Turner appears to have been standing on the steps of the Church of San Gregorio Magno al Celio. From this viewpoint, the scale and shape of the great amphitheatre could be seen to good advantage. The area of ground on the left is the eastern slope of the Palatine Hill which is topped by the two small churches of San Bonaventura and San Sebastiano al Palatino. At the base of the hill is a surviving section of the Aqua Claudia and the road running directly past these arches towards the Arch of Constantine (only faintly indicated) is the Via San Gregorio. In the background to the immediate left of the Colosseum is the Torre dei Margani and San Pietro in Vincoli, whilst on the far left is the Temple of Vesta and Roma and the bell-tower of Santa Francesca Romana from the eastern end of the Forum.
Similar related views can be found on other sheets within this sketchbook (see D16345, D16348, D16369; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 19, 22, 42). Furthermore, a more close-up coloured study of the Colosseum and the Arch of Constantine from the Via San Gregorio can be found in the Small Roman C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16398; Turner Bequest CXC 4).
?Blank (pasted to mount).

Nicola Moorby
July 2009

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