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 the River Tiber 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Verso:
View of Rome from the Janiculum Hill, with the River Tiber 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVIII 2 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 114 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Snow Pink’ above horizon on left
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
The view on this page is dominated by the buildings flanking either side of the curving River Tiber and the distant line of mountains topped with ‘pink’ snow. Turner has left the river as a blank space running through the centre of the drawing. The visible landmarks along the far bank include (from left to right) the large dome by the river of San Andrea della Valle, the twin domes of Santa Maria Maggiore and the tower of the Palazzo Senatorio on the Capitol. In the foreground on the left is the Church of Sant’Onofrio. The view continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread with the view from San Pietro in Montorio to the top of the Janiculum Hill itself, see folio 3 (D16161).
For a discussion of other views from the Janiculum see the entry for folio 2 (D16159).

Nicola Moorby
September 2008

Powell 1987, p.106.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘View of Rome from the Janiculum Hill, with the River Tiber 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 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-of-rome-from-the-janiculum-hill-with-the-river-tiber-r1139669, accessed 20 May 2024.