Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Tivoli, from the Valley of the River Aniene


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 41 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s exploration of Tivoli included a large number of landscape sketches drawn from the valley to the north. This sketch depicts a view of the town from the banks of the River Aniene looking east, an area now dominated by an electrical power plant. The town is silhouetted along the brow of the hill above. Visible landmarks include from left to right: a medieval watch-tower; the substructures supporting the Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani); the campanile of the Cathedral (Duomo) of San Lorenzo; the tower of the Santuario di Ercole Vincitore (Sanctuary of Hercules Victor), a ruined Roman temple formerly known as the Villa of Maecenas; the Villa d’Este, with the adjacent campanile of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore; and on the far left, the so-called Tempio della Tosse, a small domed structure believed to be the vestibule of a Roman villa. The ruined arch in the right-hand foreground is part of the Ponte dell’Acquoria (Bridge of the Golden Water), a Roman crossing which carried the ancient Via Tiburtina over the River Aniene (see Tate D15012; Turner Bequest CLXXIX 46). Similar views can be seen on folios 7, 8, 16, 26, and 41 (D15473, D15474, D15482, D15493, D15508), and in the Tivoli and Rome sketchbook (Tate D15033; Turner Bequest CLXXIX 57 verso).

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

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