J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Four Sketches of the Ruins of the So-Called Temple of Apollo, Lake Avernus 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 77 Verso:
Four Sketches of the Ruins of the So-Called Temple of Apollo, Lake Avernus 1819
D15708
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 75 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 122 x 197 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘[?Red]’ bottom left
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains several sketches of the so-called Temple of Apollo, a ruined Roman bath-house which stands on the eastern banks of Lake Avernus, a volcanic crater lake near Pozzuoli which is represented in classical mythology as the entrance to the underworld. The most well-known prospect of the lake was that looking south towards the Bay of Baiae and the promontory of Cape Misenum (present-day Capo Miseno). However, in the top left-hand corner Turner depicts the view looking north with the ruined temple in the foreground and Monte Corvara in the distance beyond. A similar composition was depicted by John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831) in Select Views in Italy, and a copy of this plate can be found in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (Tate D13969; Turner Bequest CLXXII 20a). The study in the bottom left-hand corner continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 78 (D15709; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 76). For further sketches of Lake Avernus and a discussion of Turner’s related paintings see folio 19 verso (Tate D15592).

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Four Sketches of the Ruins of the So-Called Temple of Apollo, Lake Avernus 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-four-sketches-of-the-ruins-of-the-so-called-temple-of-apollo-r1138169, accessed 18 July 2019.