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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Northern End of the Forum, Pompeii, with Vesuvius Beyond 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 15 Recto:
The Northern End of the Forum, Pompeii, with Vesuvius Beyond 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 15
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘6’, centre of sketch
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in blue ink ‘278’ bottom right and ‘15’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXV 15’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The centre of civil, commercial and religious life in Pompeii was the Forum. This important area of the city had been excavated in 1812–13, and despite still being imperfectly cleared in 1819, was one of the most recent and complete discoveries available during Turner’s visit in 1819.1 The artist made a number of studies of different parts of the site, see folio 12 verso (D15760).
This sketch depicts the northern end of the Forum with the Temple of Jupiter in the centre and Vesuvius in the distance beyond. Turner’s viewpoint appears to be the southern end, close to the arch of the monument to Augustus (visible in the right-hand foreground).
For further sketches and a general discussion of Turner’s visit to Pompeii see the introduction to the sketchbook.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

Roberto Cassanelli, Pier Luigi Ciapparelli, Enrico Colle et al., Houses and Monuments of Pompeii: The Works of Fausto and Felice Niccolini, Los Angeles 1997, p.218.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘The Northern End of the Forum, Pompeii, with Vesuvius Beyond 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 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-northern-end-of-the-forum-pompeii-with-vesuvius-beyond-r1138230, accessed 20 May 2024.