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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner San Paolo fuori le mura, Rome, from the North-East 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 14 Verso:
San Paolo fuori le mura, Rome, from the North-East 1819
Turner Bequest CXCI 14 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Rock’ bottom left
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject of this sketch is San Paolo fuori le mura, one of the four great papal basilicas of Rome.1 The church was built on what was believed to be the birthplace of St Paul and is so called owing to its location to the south beyond the Aurelian walls, the perimeter which marked the boundaries of the ancient city. Turner’s viewpoint here is from the north-east looking towards the northern façade of the cathedral with the end of the transept on the left and the bell-tower on the right. Another study can be found on folio 9 verso (D16501). The early medieval building seen here was almost completely destroyed by fire in July 1823. It was subsequently reconstructed with a similar façade but with a new portico and a different bell-tower. Other sketches can be found on folios 7 verso, 10 and 12 verso (D16497, D16501–D16502 and D16507) and in the St Peter’s sketchbook (see Tate D16256; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 55v).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

The others are St Peter’s, San Giovanni in Laterano and Santa Maria Maggiore.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘San Paolo fuori le mura, Rome, from the North-East 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-san-paolo-fuori-le-mura-rome-from-the-north-east-r1138404, accessed 20 May 2024.