Catalogue entry

T03545 THE CAPELLA NUOVA OUTSIDE THE PORTA DI CHIAJA, NAPLES 1782

Oil on hand-made laid paper 7 7/8 × 9 1/8 (200 × 232), irregularly cut on all four sides
Inscribed ‘The Capella nuova fuori della porta di -|Chiaja Naploi|May 1782|TJ’ in pencil on back
Presented by Canon J.H. Adams 1982
Prov: By descent from the artist to Canon J.H. Adams, whose great-grandfather Captain John Dale married Thomas Jones's younger daughter Elizabetha
Exh: Thomas Jones, Marble Hill House, Twickenham, and National Museum of Wales, Cardiff, June–September 1970 (62); Painting from Nature, Arts Council, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge and RA, November 1980–March 1981 (21, repr.); Pd Klassick Mark, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm, September–December 1982 (187)
Lit: [ed. A.P. Oppé], ‘Memoirs of Thomas Jones’, Walpole Society, XXXII, 1951, pp.110–11; Lawrence Gowing, The Originality of Thomas Jones, 1985, pp.44–5, pl.39. Also repr: The Tate Gallery 1982–84, Illustrated Biennial Report, 1984, p.29 in col.

Dated on the back ‘May 1782’, this must have been painted between 9 May and the end of that month. Jones records in his ‘Memoirs’ under 3 May 1782 that as well as moving to new sleeping quarters at ‘Mr Thomas Francis, the English Taylor's, without the porta di Chaja’, he also acquired - for a few weeks only, as it turned out - a new painting-room within the Borgo of the Chiaja, on the ground floor of a small convent called the Capella Vecchia and overlooking the convent of the Capella Nuova, taking possession of this on 9 May. Under 12 May 1782, Jones relates that ‘The Room which I was in possession of at the Convent, was large and commodious for such a place, and as it was on the ground floor and vaulted above, very cool and pleasant at this Season of the Year - The only window it had, looked into a Small Garden, and over a part of the Suburbs, particularly the Capella nuova, another Convent, the Porta di Chaja, Palace of Villa Franca, and part of the Hill of Pusilippo, with the Castle of S. Elmo & convent of S. Martini &c all of which Objects, I did not omit making finished Studies of in Oil upon primed paper -’.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1982-84: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions, London 1986