Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of the Forum, Rome, with a Rainbow


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, watercolour and gouache on paper
Support: 230 × 367 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 46

Display caption

Turner's first visit to Rome in 1819 produced a series of drawings in both pencil and monochrome media, and in full and resonant colour. The drawings provided a survey of the architectural splendours and historic sites of the city. They included both objective and careful studies, and profoundly atmospheric interpretations such as this. The rainbow seems to echo the sense of renewal observed by all Romantic travellers in the Eternal City, and is exemplified here by the Baroque church façade among the ruins of antiquity.

Gallery label, September 2004

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