Turner Bequest CLXXX 12
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘12’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXX 12’ bottom right
Cecilia Powell has identified the top sketch as an acroterion,1 from a tomb in the Galleria Lapidaria (Lapidary Gallery) of the Museo Chiaramonti.2 Generally designed to be placed at the apex of a pediment, an acroterion is an architectural ornament placed on a flat base, here in the form of a statue mounted within a decorative pedestal. Turner has numbered the object ‘1818’.
The bottom sketch represents part of a richly ornamented grave altar which today can be found in the collections of the Museo Pio-Clementino.3 The artist has numbered the object ‘1076’.
How to cite
Nicola Moorby, ‘Studies of Sculptural Fragments and Reliefs from the Vatican Museums, Including an Acroterion from a Tomb and Part of a Grave Altar 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2009, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www