Thomas Jones
The Bay of Naples and the Mole Lighthouse 1782

Artwork details

Thomas Jones 1742–1803
The Bay of Naples and the Mole Lighthouse
Date 1782
Medium Oil paint on paper
Dimensions Support: 245 x 396 mm
Acquisition Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Display caption

Jones recorded in his Memoirs that between May 1780 and May 1782 he took lodgings in Naples in a 'large new built house or Palace' situated opposite the Custom House for Salt in a noisy area near the old harbour. Here he had access to the flat roof, and from this elevated vantage point made a number of striking oil sketches of Neapolitan rooftops, and probably this view of the Bay of Naples as well. Jones has orientated himself away from the harbour, and painted a simple stretch of water looking across to the Sorrentine peninsula. The view is articulated only by the lighthouse and a sequence of rhythmically placed feluccas. The overwhelming impression is one of stillness and calm.

September 1997