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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Vesuvius from the Ruins of Pompeii 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 4 Verso:
Vesuvius from the Ruins of Pompeii 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 4 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
In 76 AD the Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed and completely buried by the volcanic eruption of nearby Vesuvius. Excavation of this important archeological location began during the mid-eighteenth century and the emerging ruins quickly became one of the most popular destinations for British tourists in Italy. Turner visited during his Naples sojourn in the autumn of 1819 and made over forty on-the-spot sketches (for a more detailed discussion see the introduction to the sketchbook). This study depicts some of the site’s extensive remains with the vast silhouette of Vesuvius looming in the background to the north-west.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Vesuvius from the Ruins of Pompeii 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-vesuvius-from-the-ruins-of-pompeii-r1138211, accessed 19 May 2024.