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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View of St Peter's, Rome from the Pincian Hill 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
View of St Peter’s, Rome from the Pincian Hill 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 17
Pencil and grey watercolour wash on white wove ‘Valleyfield’ paper, 231 x 369 mm
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXIX 17’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Like many foreign visitors to Rome, part of Turner’s exploration of the city included the panoramic views seen from certain elevated vantage points outside of the historic centre. The most famous of these were the Janiculum Hill (see D16328; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 2) and Monte Mario (see D16357; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 31), but another popular location was the Pincian Hill in the north-east of Rome. From the beginning of the nineteenth century, the area was developed by the architect Giuseppe Valadier (1762–1839) who terraced the slopes leading up from Piazza del Popolo and landscaped the gardens between the Villa Medici and the Villa Borghese park. This sketch depicts the view from a point just below the terrace in Piazzale Napoleone I, looking west towards St Peter’s and the Vatican. Like many drawings within this sketchbook, it has been executed over a washed grey background. In the left-hand foreground of the composition is the Obelisk of Rameses II which stands in the centre of the Piazza del Popolo, whilst on the right is the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo, and the ornamental rounded top of the Porta del Popolo.
Related studies of the vista across Piazza del Popolo can be found within this sketchbook (see D16381; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 52) and in the Small Roman C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16406; Turner Bequest CXC 10). See also other sketches of the view from the Pincian Hill looking south-east towards Trinità dei Monti and the Spanish Steps (D16340; Turner Bequest CLXXXIX 14).
?Blank (pasted to mount).

Nicola Moorby
October 2009

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘View of St Peter’s, Rome from the Pincian Hill 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, October 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-st-peters-rome-from-the-pincian-hill-r1132465, accessed 17 June 2024.