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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Vatican Museums, Including a Sarcophagus with a Marriage Scene 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 44 Recto:
Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Vatican Museums, Including a Sarcophagus with a Marriage Scene 1819
D15188
Turner Bequest CLXXX 43
Pencil on paper 101 x 161 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘43’ top right, ascending right-hand edge
Stamped in black ‘CLXXX 43’ top right, ascending right-hand edge
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
During his 1819 stay in Rome, one of Turner’s most extensive sketching campaigns was the large number of pencil studies made from the sculpture collections of the Vatican Museums (for a general discussion, see the introduction to the sketchbook). This page contains sketches of a sarcophagus found in the Museo Pio-Clementino. The studies are numbered from top to bottom:
a.
Cecilia Powell has identified the subject of the top sketch as a sarcophagus decorated with a relief depicting scenes of marriage and sacrifice.1 The object can be found in the West Portico of the Cortile Ottagono (also known as the Cortile Ottagonale, formerly the Cortile del Belvedere) of the Museo Pio-Clementino.2
b.
The sketch in the bottom left-hand corner depicts the relief from the right end of the same sarcophagus (see a.).3
c.
The sketch second from bottom left depicts the relief from the left end of the same sarcophagus (see a.).4

Nicola Moorby
November 2009

1
Powell 1984, p.417; see Walther Amelung, Die Sculpturen des Vaticanischen Museums, Berlin 1903–8, vol.II, ‘2. Belvedere’, no.102n, pp.290–4, reproduced pl.27.
2
Giandomenico Spinola, Il Museo Pio-Clementino, vol.I, Vatican City 1996, no.PO 18, pp.80–1.
3
See Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Bildkatalog der Skulpturen des Vatikanischen Museum: Museo Pio Clementino Cortile Ottagono, Berlin and New York 1998, vol.II, reproduced pl.263, bottom.
4
Ibid., reproduced pl.263, top.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Studies of Sculptural Fragments from the Vatican Museums, Including a Sarcophagus with a Marriage Scene 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.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-studies-of-sculptural-fragments-from-the-vatican-museums-r1139600, accessed 04 March 2021.