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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Cascatelli, Tivoli, from the Valley 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 54 Verso:
The Cascatelli, Tivoli, from the Valley 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXIX 54 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 112 x 186 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘[?Grey]’ within hills on left and ‘Mist’ top right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner’s made a large number of sketches of the cascatelli (or cascatelle) of Tivoli, the lesser cascades where part of the River Aniene flowed from an underground passage and emerged in streams down the slopes at the northern tip of the town. This sketch is drawn from the floor of the valley looking east. The tower in the top right-hand corner is a medieval watch-tower near the Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani). Turner has used rough hatching and shading to describe the steep craggy slopes, lush vegetation and stream of falling water. Similar views can be seen on folios 48–52 verso (D15016–D40926) and in the Tivoli sketchbook (Tate D15496, D15497, D15504, D15505; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 29, 30, 37, 38). He also explored the tonal properties of the cascades (see for example Tate D15467; Turner Bequest CLXXXIII 1). Today the numerous smaller waterfalls have disappeared due to the divergence of the River Aniene away from the centre of Tivoli, and have been replaced by the great waterfall of Villa Gregoriana.

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘The Cascatelli, Tivoli, from the Valley 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2010, 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-the-cascatelli-tivoli-from-the-valley-r1137661, accessed 25 September 2021.