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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View from the East of the Pyramid of Cestius and the Porta San Paolo, Rome 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 45 Verso:
View from the East of the Pyramid of Cestius and the Porta San Paolo, Rome 1819
D15381
Turner Bequest CLXXXII 45 a
Pencil on white wove paper with red chalk, 113 x 189 mm
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This inverted sketch represents a view of Rome from the east with the Pyramid of Cestius, and the Porta San Paolo (formerly called the Porta Ostiense). The uneven line of crenellations across the middle ground denotes the perimeter of the Aurelian Walls and the small hill in the background is the Monte Testaccio. In addition to his customary pencil work, the artist has used touches of red chalk to denote areas of brickwork. This could have either been added on the spot or at a later date. It may however, indicate that Turner used some sketchbooks simultaneously during his perambulations around Rome. Chalk can also be found on another sketch within this book, see folio 70 (D15429, CLXXXII 69).
Further sketches of the Pyramid of Cestius can be found on folios 42–42 verso (D15374–D15375). See also the Rome and Florence sketchbook (Tate D16500; Turner Bequest CXCI 9).

Nicola Moorby
May 2008

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘View from the East of the Pyramid of Cestius and the Porta San Paolo, Rome 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 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-view-from-the-east-of-the-pyramid-of-cestius-and-the-porta-r1132676, accessed 26 November 2020.