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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Notes by Turner from Eustace's 'A Classical Tour Through Italy' c.1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 10 Recto:
Notes by Turner from Eustace’s ‘A Classical Tour Through Italy’ circa 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXII 10
Inscribed by the artist in black ink (see main catalogue entry) on white wove paper, 155 x 99 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘10’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXII 10’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page is one of several sides of extensive notes made by Turner from A Classical Tour Through Italy by Revd John Chetwode Eustace. The source was first identified by Cecilia Powell, who also transcribed Turner’s notes in full in the Appendix of her 1984 PhD thesis, ‘Turner on Classic Ground: His Visits to Central and Southern Italy and Related Paintings and Drawings’.1 The inscription is repeated here with only minor variations from her text:
is a circular temple of 16 Col by Bramante | introduced in Raffael’s Paul Santa Maria, | in Trastevere or Basilica Calixti built by Pope | Calixtus 220 by Julius I, ^ in ^ 340 its vault and chapel | painted by Domenichino St Grisogna St Giovanni | e Paolo. St Gregoria Magno Guido and Dominichino | on its walls St Onofria the tomb of Tasso | St Sebastiano Catacombs. Puzzolana | Madon^n^a del Sole the ancient temple of Vesta | Fortuna Virilis now St Santa Maria Egiziaca | St Lore^n^zo in Miranda Portico pediments were | the temple of Antoninus and Faustina | Pontifical Churches | St Lawrence (fuori) or St Sebastian St Croce | Santa Maria Maggiore or Basilica Lib – | eriana, St Paul (fuori delle mura) St John Lateran St Peter or Basilica Vaticano | on the via Tiburtina. by the Gate often called | likewise Porta St Lorenzo stands the Basilica of the Martyrs St Lawrence & Stephen | nighbouring [sic] fields called Campus Virnaeus | Santa Croce Holy Cross on the scite [sic] of the temple | of Venus. Basilica of St Paul near Porta | Ostensis Abbey of Benedictines; ^ unwholesome air ^ pavonazza | column. White tinged with purple Sacre grotte under St Peters
These notes relate to various passages from volume II of Eustace’s text and condense parts of the author’s account of Rome and its environs.2 Many of the sights listed here form subjects in Turner’s various Roman sketchboks, such as. It is interesting to note that from an entire chapter devoted to St Peter’s the only thing Turner has troubled to write down is the ‘Sacre grotte’ underneath the church. Furthermore, no information whatsoever has been recorded from the following chapter, ‘Pontifical Service – Papal Benediction – Ceremonies in the Holy Week – Observations – Original Form of Churches’ and instead Turner recommences his notes on Rome’s villas in Chapter VI.
Powell has pointed out that at least one phrase on this page reveals that Turner must have been reading either the 1815 or 1817 version of A Classical Tour, not the first (1813) edition. The Churches of St Lawrence and St Paul are described as ‘fuori delle mura’, an amendment incorporated into the later versions of Eustace’s book, whereas the 1813 edition uses the English term ‘without the walls’.3
For a general discussion of Turner’s notes from Eustace see the introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
July 2008

Powell 1984, pp.388–9.
John Chetwode Eustace, A Classical Tour Through Italy, London 1815, 3rd edition, vol.II, pp.85–138.
Powell 1984, p.446.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Notes by Turner from Eustace’s ‘A Classical Tour Through Italy’ c.1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 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-notes-by-turner-from-eustaces-a-classical-tour-through-italy-r1138770, accessed 23 May 2024.