Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino

Object Details

Title:

Modern Rome - Campo Vaccino

Artist/Maker(s):

Joseph Mallord William Turner (British, 1775 - 1851)

Culture:

British

Place(s):

England (Place created)

Date:

1839

Medium:

Oil on canvas

Dimensions:

91.8 x 122.6 cm (36 1/8 x 48 1/4 in.)

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Ten years after his final journey to Rome, Turner envisioned the Eternal City through a veil of memory. Baroque churches and ancient monuments in and around the Roman Forum seem to dissolve in iridescent light shed by a moon rising at left and a sun setting behind the Capitoline Hill at right. Amidst these splendors, the city's inhabitants carry on with their daily activities. The picture's nacreous palette and shimmering light effects exemplify Turner at his most accomplished.

When first exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1839 with its pendant, Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus,the painting was accompanied by a modified quotation from Lord Byron's masterpiece, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage(1818): "The moon is up, and yet it is not night, / The sun as yet divides the day with her." Like the poem, Turner's painting evokes the enduring sublimity of Rome, which had been for artists throughout history less a place in the real world than one in the imagination.

The painting is in a remarkable state of preservation and remains untouched since it left Turner's hands.

Provenance
1839 - 1864

Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar, Scottish, 1797 - 1864 (113 Park Street, London, England), acquired from the artist at the Royal Academy exhibition, 1839; by inheritance to his heirs, 1864.

1864 - 1878

Heirs of Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar, Scottish, 1797 - 1864 [sold, Novar Collection sale, Christie's, London, April 6, 1878, lot 99, for 4450 gns., through Frederick Davis to Archibald, fifth earl of Rosebery.]

1878 - 1929

Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth earl of Rosebery, Scottish, 1847 - 1929

and Hannah de Rothschild, countess of Rosebery, 1851 - 1890 (107 Piccadilly, London, England, until 1888; thereafter, 38 Berkeley Square, London, England), by inheritance to their heirs, 1929.

1929 - 2010

Heirs of Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth earl of Rosebery, Scottish, 1847 - 1929 (38 Berkeley Square, London, England, until 1978; thereafter on loan to the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh) [sold, Sotheby's, London, July 7, 2010, lot 57, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Exhibitions
The Exhibition of the Royal Academy. MDCCCXXXIX. The Seventy-First (1839) (Cat. 70)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1839
Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters, and by Deceased Masters of the British School [...]: Winter Exhibition, Twenty-Seventh Year. MDCCCXCVI (1896) (Cat. 12)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1896
J. M. W. Turner (February 5 to March 15, 1953) (Cat. 91)
  • Whitechapel Art Gallery, (London), February 5 to March 15, 1953
Byron (May 30 to August 25, 1974) (Cat. S39)
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, (London), May 30 to August 25, 1974
Turner, 1775-1851 (November 16, 1974 to March 2, 1975) (Cat. 517)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 16, 1974 to March 2, 1975
Turner and Byron (June 3 to September 20, 1992) (Cat. 37)
  • Tate Gallery, (London), June 3 to September 20, 1992
Imagining Rome: British Artists and Rome in the Nineteenth Century (May 3 to June 23, 1996) (Cat. 11)
  • Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, (Bristol), May 3 to June 23, 1996
William Turner: Licht und Farbe (September 15, 2001 to May 26, 2002) (Cat. 194)
  • Museum Folkwang, (Essen), September 15, 2001 to January 6, 2002
  • Kunsthaus Zürich, (Zurich), February 1 to May 26, 2002
J. M. W. Turner (October 1, 2007 to September 21, 2008) (Cat. 118)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), October 1, 2007 to January 6, 2008
Turner e l'Italia / Turner & Italy / Turner és Itália (November 16, 2008 to October 25, 2009) (Cat. 74 / 94 /)
  • Palazzo dei Diamanti (Ferrara), November 16, 2008 to February 22, 2009
  • National Gallery of Scotland, (Edinburgh), March 27 to June 7, 2009
  • Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, (Budapest), July 15 to October 25, 2009
J.M.W. Turner: Painting Set Free (September 10, 2014 to January 31, 2016) (84)
  • Tate Britain, (London), September 10, 2014 to January 25, 2015
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 24 to May 24, 2015
  • The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, June 20 to September 20, 2015
Bibliography

The Exhibition of the Royal Academy. MDCCCXXXIX. The Seventy-First, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy, 1839), p. 8, no. 70.

Burnet, John. Turner and His Works [...]; The Memoir, by Peter Cunningham, F.S.A. Henry Murray, ed. (London: James S. Virtue, 1859), pp. 15, 104, no. 201.

Thornbury, Walter. The Life of J. M. W. Turner, R.A. 2 vols. (London: Hurst and Blackett, 1862), vol. 1, p. 232; vol. 2, pp. 381, 400.

Frost, William. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Water-colour Drawings, Drawings, and Prints, in the Collection of the Late Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro, Esq., of Novar [...] (London: n.p., 1865), p. 95, no. 135.

Thornbury, Walter. The Life of J. M. W. Turner, R.A. Rev. ed. (London: Chatto & Windus, 1877), pp. 105, 579, no. 205.

Christie, Manson & Woods. Catalogue of the Modern Portion of the Celebrated Collection of Pictures Known as the Novar Collection, Formed by That Distinguished Amateur, the Late Hugh A. J. Munro, Esq. [...]. April 6, 1878, p. 15, lot 99.

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert. The Life of J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1879), p. 282.

Exhibition of Works by the Old Masters [...]. Winter Exhibition. Twenty-Seventh Year. MDCCCXCVI, exh. cat. (London: Royal Academy, 1896), p. 7, no. 12.

Bell, Charles Francis. A List of the Works Contributed to Public Exhibitions by J. M. W. Turner, R.A. (London: George Bell and Sons, 1901), pp. 136-37, no. 214.

Armstrong, Sir Walter. Turner. 2 vols. (London: Thos. Agnew & Sons; New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1902), pp. 121, 228.

J. M. W. Turner, exh. cat. (London: Whitechapel Art Gallery, 1953), p. 18, no. 91.

Finberg, Alexander Joseph. The Life of J. M. W. Turner, R.A. 2nd. ed., rev. by Hilda F. Finberg (Oxford: Clarendon, 1961), pp. 373, 502, no. 484.

Rothenstein, John, and Martin Butlin. Turner (New York: George Braziller, 1964), pp. 12, 56.

Gage, John. "Turner's Academic Friendships: C. L. Eastlake." The Burlington Magazine 110, no. 789 (December 1968), p. 682.

Burton, Anthony, and John Murdoch. Byron, exh. cat. (London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1974), p. 133, no. S39, pl. 86.

Turner, 1775-1851, exh. cat. (London: Tate Gallery, 1974), pp. 142, 144, no. 517, ill.

Herrmann, Luke. Turner: Paintings, Watercolours, Prints & Drawings (Oxford: Phaidon, 1975), p. 47.

Butlin, Martin, and Evelyn Joll. The Paintings of J. M. W. Turner. 2 vols. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1977), vol. 1, pp. 210-11, no. 379; vol. 2, unpaginated, pl. 355.

Wilton, Andrew. J. M. W. Turner: His Art and Life. (New York: Rizzoli, 1979), pp. 215, 284, no. P379, ill.

Vaughan, William. "Landscape and the 'Irony of Nature.'" Art History 2, no. 4 (December 1979), pp. 471-72.

Joll, Evelyn, and Martin Butlin. L'Opera completa di Turner, 1830-1851 (Milan: Rizzoli, 1982), p. 205, no. 440, ill.

Kitson, Michael. "Turner and Claude." Turner Studies 2, no. 2 (Winter 1983), pp. 10, 14.

Butlin, Martin, and Evelyn Joll. The Paintings of J. M. W. Turner. Rev. ed. 2 vols. (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1984), vol. 1, p. 232, no. 379; vol. 2, pl. 383.

Gage, John. J. M. W. Turner: A Wonderful Range of Mind (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1987), pp. 24-25, 27, 56, 58, fig. 36.

Nicholson, Kathleen. Turner's Classical Landscapes: Myth and Meaning (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), pp. 119, 121, 123, 127, fig. 56.

Brown, David Blayney. Turner and Byron, exh. cat. (London: Tate Gallery, 1992), pp. 38, 69, 94, no. 37, ill.

Egerton, Judy. Turner, 'The Fighting Temeraire' (London: National Gallery Publications, 1995), pp. 80, 84.

Liversidge, Michael, and Catharine Edwards, eds. Imagining Rome: British Artists and Rome in the Nineteenth Century, exh. cat. (Bristol: Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, with Merrell Holberton, 1996), pp. 70, 83, 85-86, no. 11, ill., entry by Michael Liversidge.

Liversidge, Michael. "Rome Portrayed: 'To Excite the Sensibility, and to Awaken the Admiration of Mankind.'" In Imagining Rome: British Artists and Rome in the Nineteenth Century, exh. cat. (Bristol: Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, 1996), pp. 41, 51.

Egerton, Judy. The British School (London: National Gallery Publications, 1998), p. 290, under no. NG 1991; pp. 310, 312, under no. NG 524.

Joll, Evelyn, Martin Butlin, and Luke Herrmann, eds. The Oxford Companion to J. M. W. Turner (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001), p. 7, entry by Evelyn Joll.

Költzsch, Georg-W., ed. William Turner: Licht und Farbe, exh. cat. (Essen: Museum Folkwang, with DuMont, 2001), pp. 253, 365, no. 194, ill., entry by Andrew Wilton.

Warrell, Ian, ed. J.M.W. Turner, exh. cat. (Washington, D.C.: National Gallery of Art, 2007), pp. 170, 172-73, no. 118, ill., entry by Gillian Forrester; p. 209, under no. 151, entry by Ian Warrell.

Hamilton, James, et al. Turner e l'Italia, exh. cat. Mary Archer, trans. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, 2008), pp. 211, 221, 250, pl. 74, cover ill.

Hamilton, James. "Turner e l'Italia." In Turner e l'Italia, exh. cat. Mary Archer, trans. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, 2008), pp. 76-77.

Baker, Christopher. "Turner e Munro di Novar: un'amicizia, una collezione e une comune passione per l'Italia." In Turner e l'Italia, exh. cat. Mary Archer, trans. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, 2008), p. 112.

Ridge, Jacqueline. "I Turner della collezione Rosebery." In Turner e l'Italia, exh. cat. Mary Archer, trans. (Ferrara: Palazzo dei Diamanti, 2008), pp. 119-24, pl. 74, figs. 84, 86-88.

Baker, Christopher. Turner's Italy (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2009), pp. 21-23, 25, fig. 15.

Hamilton, James, et al. Turner & Italy, exh. cat. (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2009), pp. 85, 142, pl. 94, cover ill.

Hamilton, James. "Turner and Italy." In Turner & Italy, exh. cat. (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2009), pp. 85, 87, 89, pl. 94.

Baker, Christopher. "Turner and Munro of Novar: Friendship, Collecting and Italy." In Turner & Italy, exh. cat. (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2009), pp. 123, 127.

Ridge, Jacqueline. "The Rosebery Turners." In Turner & Italy, exh. cat. (Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2009), pp. 128-30, 132-34, figs. 149-53.

Moore-Gwyn, David, et al. Turner: 'Modern Rome-Campo Vaccino' (London: Sotheby's, 2010), passim, ill.

Sotheby's, London. Old Master & British Paintings. Evening Sale. July 7, 2010, pp. 162-73, lot 57, ill.

Shanes, Eric. "Turner the Visionary." Apollo 173, no. 586 (April 2011), p. 46, fig. 2.

Negrotti, Rosanna, and Camilla Apcar. "Acquisition of the Year." Apollo 174, no. 593 (December 2011), p. 71, no. 20, ill.

Education Resources

Education Resource

Subjects

Grades

Format

The Poetry of Architecture

Lesson in which students explore architectural structures/nature in paintings; describe a painting's mood, draw, write poetry, make a camera obscura.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; History–Social Science

9-12

Three/Five-Part Lesson

Language through Art (Beginning)

Lesson in which students study exterior spaces depicted in works of art, describing weather and time of day.

Visual Arts; English–Language Arts; ESL (English as a Second Language)

K-2; 3-5; 6-8; 9-12; Adult Learners

Single Class Lesson

Related Media
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    Audio: Ancient Rome; Agrippina Landing with the Ashes of Germanicus and Modern Rome, Campo Viccino