Turner Bequest CLXXX 6 a
The sketch in the top left-hand corner depicts an unidentified grave altar. Turner has annotated the drawing with the number ‘276’.
In the top right-hand corner is an unidentified sculptural relief, possibly part of a funerary altar, inscribed beneath ‘[PAEIEKOI]’
An unidentified sculptural fragment of a wreath, inscribed in the centre ‘[?NONA...]’
Cecilia Powell has identified the middle sketch as a sarcophagus with the Three Graces,1 which today can be found in the Galleria Lapidaria of the Museo Chiaramonti.2 The sketch is inscribed ‘13’ which probably refers to the number of times the strigil pattern is repeated on each side of the object.
Powell has identified this as a fragment of the sarcophagus of Sellia Celerina,3 from the Galleria Lapidaria of the Museo Chiaramonti.4 Turner has transcribed the Latin inscription from the object, ‘DMS | SELLA | CELERINA | VALIII | HS [?S]’. The first part translates as ‘D[is] M[anibus] S[acrum]’, ‘Sacred to the spirits of the departed’, and is a common phrase found on Roman funerary monuments.
In the bottom right-hand corner is part of an unidentified grave altar, annotated with the number ‘283’.
How to cite
Nicola Moorby, ‘Studies of Sculptural Fragments and Reliefs from the Vatican Museums, Including a Sarcophagus with the Three Graces, and the Sarcophagus of Sellia Celerina 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www