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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner View of the Northern Edge of Tivoli 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 26 Recto:
View of the Northern Edge of Tivoli 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 26
Pencil on white wove paper, 255 x 403 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘26’ bottom right, descending right-hand edge
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXVII 26’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject of this drawing is a view of the northern edge of Tivoli from a point near present-day Ponte San Martino and the so-called Temple of Vesta. Turner’s vista looks west with the town on the left and the landscape sloping away into the valley of the River Aniene on the right. Prominent in the middle distance is a medieval watch-tower which stands near the Piazza dell’Olmo (present-day Piazza Domenico Tani), above the cascatelli (or cascatelle), the lesser cascades of the river, and just visible in the centre is the top of the campanile of the Cathedral (Duomo) of San Lorenzo. In the far distance is the flat plain of the Roman Campagna, rising on the right towards the conical peaks of the Montes Corniculani.
Unlike the watercolour or tonal studies on grey watercolour wash elsewhere in this sketchbook, Turner’s focus here is the accurate mapping of Tivoli’s topography with no indication of naturalistic or atmospheric effects.
Blank, save for being stamped in black ‘CLXXXVII 26’ and Turner Bequest monogram bottom left.

Nicola Moorby
February 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘View of the Northern Edge of Tivoli 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, February 2010, 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-the-northern-edge-of-tivoli-r1132374, accessed 17 September 2021.