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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View Looking West from San Paolo fuori le mura, Rome, towards Ostia 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Verso:
View Looking West from San Paolo fuori le mura, Rome, towards Ostia 1819
D16505
Turner Bequest CXCI 11 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘[?Steep] [?is] [?more] [...] then W | towards Ostia’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Following a systematic exploration of the eastern bank of the River Tiber from the Isola Tiberina to the outskirts of Rome, Turner made a series of panoramic drawings from San Paolo fuori le mura, the basilica church situated outside of the ancient city walls, approximately one mile south of the Porta San Paolo, see folios 10 verso–12 and 13 verso–14 (D16503–D16506 and D16509–D16510). This sketch appears to depict the view looking west across the Roman campagna, which as Turner has noted in the bottom right-hand corner, is the direction of Ostia, the ancient port at the mouth of the River Tiber, approximately twenty miles south-west of the city. One of the buildings on right-hand side of the page may represent Santa Passera, a small church which lies directly opposite San Paolo fuori le mura, on the other side of the river. In the left-hand foreground, Turner has included a seated figure looking out at the view, probably watching the sun setting across the campagna. A small part of the composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 12 (D16506).

Nicola Moorby
February 2009

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘View Looking West from San Paolo fuori le mura, Rome, towards Ostia 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2009, 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-looking-west-from-san-paolo-fuori-le-mura-rome-towards-r1138398, accessed 19 May 2022.