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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sketches of Fish from the Market in the Portico of Octavia, Rome 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 52 Recto:
Sketches of Fish from the Market in the Portico of Octavia, Rome 1819
D16247
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 51
Pencil on white wove paper, 189 x 114 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Purple [?Blue]’ in between sketches of fish
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXVIII 51’ top right, ascending right-hand edge
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
During the nineteenth century, the main fish-market of Rome was situated in the ruins of the Portico of Octavia in the Jewish quarter of the city, see folios 51 and 51 verso (D16245–D16246; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 50–50a). Turner appears to have been fascinated with the various exotic shapes and colours of the fish he saw there on display.
The sketch beneath is unidentified but possibly depicts a fragment of an architectural detail.

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Sketches of Fish from the Market in the Portico of Octavia, Rome 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-sketches-of-fish-from-the-market-in-the-portico-of-octavia-r1139759, accessed 25 January 2022.