Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of the River Tiber, with Sant’Andrea in Via Flaminia and the Castel Sant’Angelo, Rome


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 58

Catalogue entry

By the nineteenth century, exploration of the city’s environs had become as much part of the Roman experience as its architecture and monuments. Turner made a large number of studies of the landscape north of Rome, and many of the views within this sketchbook appear to relate to a single perambulation from Sant’Agnese fuori le mura to Ponte Sant’Angelo, by way of the ancient Ponte Molle, also known as the Ponte Milvio (for further information see the sketchbook introduction). The subject of this sketch is the view of the River Tiber looking south (or downstream) from a point on the present-day Lungotevere Flaminio. The distant towers and domes of the city can be seen across the horizon including, on the far right-hand side, the Castel Sant’Angelo. On the far left-hand side, is the small sixteenth chapel of Sant’Andrea in Via Flaminia, also known as Sant’Andrea del Vignola after its architect, Giacomo Barozzi da Vignola (1507–73). This church or tempio, which has an elliptical dome over a square base was commissioned by Pope Julius II to celebrate his escape from imprisonment during the 1527 Sack of Rome. The building can also be seen in folios 50 and 51 (D16471 and D16473; Turner Bequest CXC 56 and 57).
Like many drawings within this sketchbook, the composition has been executed over a washed grey background. Turner has created areas of pale highlights by lifting or rubbing through to the white paper beneath, principally to delineate the course of the river and cloud formations within the sky.
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘782’ bottom left and by an unknown hand in pencil ‘CXC 58?’ bottom left

Nicola Moorby
October 2009

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop