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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Isola Tiberina, Rome, with the Ponte Cestio 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Recto:
Isola Tiberina, Rome, with the Ponte Cestio 1819
Turner Bequest CXCI 2
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Stamped in black ‘CXCI 2’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner made a large number of drawings with the River Tiber as the central focus. This sketch shows the view looking downstream (south-east) towards the Isola Tiberina, an island in the middle of the River Tiber, linked to the rest of the city by two bridges. On the right is the Ponte Cestio, which connects the island with the Trastevere district on the west and on the left it is just possible to see part of the Ponte Fabricius, the oldest surviving bridge in Rome (also known as the Ponte Quattro Capi), which crosses towards the Jewish ghetto on the eastern bank. Meanwhile, visible through the central arch of the Ponte Cestio is the Ponte Rotto (Broken Bridge), formerly the ancient Ponte Aemilius, the remains of which can still be seen to the south of the Isola Tiberina, adjacent to the modern Ponte Palatino. In the centre of the island itself is the bell-tower of San Bartolomeo all’Isola, whilst in the background to the right can be see the circular Temple of Hercules Victor in the Forum Boarium and the bell-tower of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. There are alternative views of the Isola Tiberina and its surroundings on folios 3, 4 and 4 verso (D16489 and D16490–D16491). See also the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15372; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 41) and the St Peter’s sketchbook (Tate D16212; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 52).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Isola Tiberina, Rome, with the Ponte Cestio 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2009, 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-isola-tiberina-rome-with-the-ponte-cestio-r1138381, accessed 20 May 2024.