View from the Front of St John Lateran, Rome

View from the Front of St John Lateran, Rome. Watercolour on paper; 21 x 29 inches (53.3 x 73.7 cm) Collection of Tate Britain, reference no. NO5460.

This moody landscape painted at dusk shows figures in a contemplative attitude. Its meditative mood, in fact, is in some respect reminiscent of works by the German painter Caspar David Friedrich. Picturesque trees form a prominent part of the foreground as they did in Bodigherea. The palette predominantly features rich green and brown colours.

This watercolour shows the view from the front of the church of San Giovanni in Laterano in Rome and was probably painted during one of Howard’s trips to Rome in the 1880s. According to Christopher Newall, “the view was taken from the terraced garden above the Porta San Giovanni and looks east along the line of the ancient walls of Rome toward what was in the nineteenth century open countryside. In the distance may be seen the Romanesque bell tower of the church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme” (157).


Wilcox, Scott and Christopher Newall. Victorian Landscape Watercolours. New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1992, cat. 93, 157.

Last modified 18 December 2022