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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Portico of Octavia with the Fish-market, Rome 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 51 Verso:
The Portico of Octavia with the Fish-market, Rome 1819
D16246
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 50 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘RABIC | RRSTVS’ above arch and ‘R These Fish small tail | Purple | R Mullet’ bottom centre right
Inscribed in red ink ‘280.’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The main sketch on this page depicts the Roman remains of the Portico of Octavia with the city’s main fish-market underneath. Turner appears to have been fascinated with the various exotic shapes and colours of the fish on display, only some of which he could identify by name. Additionally, on the right-hand side the artist has also drawn a detail of the left-hand side of the structure with the surviving original columns. For a full discussion see folio 51 (D16245; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 50). There is also a related drawing on folio 52 (D16247; Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 51).

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘The Portico of Octavia with the Fish-market, Rome 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2008, 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-portico-of-octavia-with-the-fish-market-rome-r1139758, accessed 07 December 2021.