The inscription on the back of the sheet reads: Bridge over the river on – outside the Porta Pia at Rome. Not far from the bridge is the sacred mount – so called because of the separation of the people from the Patricians. At the early periods of Roman history, they consecrated AL to Jupiter. In the distance are seen the remains of the Claudian Aqueduct. Feb (7th?) 1819
The Ponte Nomentano is a Roman bridge in Rome, Italy, which carried the Via Nomentana over the Aniene. Having lain outside the city limits for most of its history, the picturesque bridge is noted for its medieval bridge tower, which served to protect this important northern approach to Rome. The bridge comprised of one large central arch with smaller side arches, whilst the crossing was fortified by an eclectic medieval development of embattled towers and walls. By the nineteenth century, exploration of the city’s environs had become as much part of the Roman experience as its architecture and monuments.
In 1819 Turner visited the area and made sketches of the bridge, his forays into the Campagna followed a long artistic tradition established during the seventeenth century by Claude Lorrain (circa 1600–1682) and Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665). The two French masters had famously made a number of sketching trips along the banks of the Tiber north of the city; indeed the countryside between the Porta del Popolo and the Ponte Molle had popularly become known as the ‘Promenade de Poussin’. The Ponte Nomentano was one of a number of landmarks which had become an established motif through the repertory of the ‘vedute’ tradition. Artists who visited the area in the early 19th century, included Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Johann Christoph Erhard and Carl Rottmann.