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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View of Rome from the Janiculum Hill, with San Pietro in Montorio 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 3 Recto:
View of Rome from the Janiculum Hill, with San Pietro in Montorio 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 3
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 189 mm
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXVIII 3’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Like many eighteenth- and nineteenth-century visitors to Rome, part of Turner’s exploration of the city included the panoramic views seen from certain elevated vantage points. One of the most famous of these was the Janiculum Hill, a ridge of high ground to the west of the River Tiber which offered sweeping vistas across the historical centre of the capital. Although a particularly popular viewpoint was the one found near the grounds of the Villa Lante, Turner chose to sketch from a position further north along the hill, near the oak of Torquato Tasso. He made a series of drawings looking north-west, north and north-east from the Janiculum, see folios 1 verso–2 (D16158–D16159) and folios 3 verso–4 (D16162–D16163), before swinging across to look east, south-east and south, see folios 2 verso–3 (D16160–D16161) and folios 4 verso–5 (D16164–D16165).1
This page is dominated by the steep slope of the Janiculum Hill which culminates in a crest of cypress trees on the far right-hand side. The visible landmarks include (from left to right) the Church of San Pietro in Montorio, the Fontana dell’Acqua Paola and the Villa Aurelia (now the American Academy in Rome). In the foreground Turner has indicated the curved terraced seating of the Teatro Alla Quercia del Tasso, a small open-air theatre near Tasso’s oak. The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 2 verso (D16160). For a discussion of other views from the Janiculum see the entry for folio 2 (D16159).

Nicola Moorby
January 2009

Powell 1987, p.106.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘View of Rome from the Janiculum Hill, with San Pietro in Montorio 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 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-of-rome-from-the-janiculum-hill-with-san-pietro-in-r1139670, accessed 28 May 2024.