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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin Tivoli: The Temple of the Sibyl c.1795-7

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
Tivoli: The Temple of the Sibyl c.1795–7
Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 14
Pencil and grey and grey-blue wash on white wove paper, 230 x 296 mm
Stamped in black ‘CCCLXXV – 14’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Probably commissioned by Dr Thomas Monro
Monro’s posthumous sale, Christie’s, London, 26–28 June and 1–2 July 1833 (day and lot number not known)
Bought by or on behalf of Turner
This was possibly copied from a sketch by John Robert Cozens (1752–1797), but perhaps taken from a different source such as Giovanni Paolo Panini (1691–1765) or Charles-Louis Clérisseau (1721–1820). Girtin copied Clérisseau for John Henderson (1764–1843); an example from Henderson’s collection showing the Temple of Concord, Rome is in the British Museum, London (1878–12–28–35).1 Compare drawings in the second ‘Monro School’ album, Tate D36506 and D36507 (Turner Bequest CCCLXXIV 27 b, 28). However, the pencil work here is less typical of Girtin than usual in this series, and the drawing as a whole has an integrated character which suggests that it may be Turner’s work alone.
Andrew Wilton, ‘The “Monro School” Question: Some Answers’, Turner Studies, vol.4, no.2, Winter 1984, p.11 fig.4.
Inscribed, perhaps by Thomas Girtin, in pencil ‘[?Cybeles] Temble [sic] | Tivoli’, and in a later hand in blue pencil ‘71’.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

How to cite

Andrew Wilton, ‘Tivoli: The Temple of the Sibyl c.1795–7 by Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin’, catalogue entry, April 2012, 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-thomas-girtin-tivoli-the-temple-of-the-sibyl-r1141262, accessed 31 May 2020.