Joseph Mallord William Turner

View on the Via Cassia with the Torre del Cornacchie and the distant dome of St Peter’s

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 110 × 186 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14827
Turner Bequest CLXXVII 89 a

Catalogue entry

Turner entered the city of Rome on the Via Cassia from the north. This inverted sketch represents a view of the Torre delle Cornacchie (Tower of Crows), a medieval tower that stands twenty metres high near La Storta on the Via Cassia, just outside of Rome.1 Turner’s sketch shows the tower on the right-hand side of the road which descends gently away from the foreground. In the distance on the right is the dome of St Peter’s. See also folio 86 verso (D14822). The irregular and shaky lines indicate that the artist was drawing the subject swiftly from a moving carriage.

Nicola Moorby
November 2008

1

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