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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner General View of Rome from Monte Mario 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Verso:
General View of Rome from Monte Mario 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 11 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner made a number of on-the-spot sketches and more elaborate drawings of the view of Rome from Monte Mario. This page depicts part of the view looking south-east directly towards the heart of the city. Turner has only troubled to outline the main landmarks along the central horizon line and therefore the breadth of the River Tiber is implied only as a blank space in the foreground. On this side can be seen (from left to right) the two domes of the Piazza del Popolo, the Church of Trinità dei Monti at the Piazza d’Espagna, the obelisk of Piazza dell’Esquilino framed by the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, the Quirinal Palace and the Colosseum. The panorama continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread with the Castel St Angleo and St Peter’s, see folio 12 (D16179).
As Finberg identified, the viewpoint of this sketch near the Villa Madama, is very close to a more detailed tonal composition in the Roman Colour Studies sketchbook (Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 31; Tate D16357).1 This in turn provided the basis for a finished watercolour, Rome, from Monte Mario c.1820 (private collection), painted on Turner’s return to England, for his friend and patron, Walter Fawkes.2
For a general discussion of Turner’s views from Monte Mario see folio 9 verso (D16174).

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

Finberg 1909, vol.I, p.558.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, no.719.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘General View of Rome from Monte Mario 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2008, 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-general-view-of-rome-from-monte-mario-r1139687, accessed 13 June 2024.