Turner Bequest CLXXX 12 a
The sketch at the top is a fragment of sculptural relief incorporating winged figures bearing a shield containing a portrait bust. The object is currently unidentified.
Cecilia Powell has identified this sketch as an acroterion,1 found 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 palmette motif. Turner has inscribed the study ‘same | at the side’ along the centre right-hand edge.
How to cite
Nicola Moorby, ‘Studies of Sculptural Fragments and Reliefs from the Vatican Museums, Including an Acroterion 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