View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
The Frenchman Dominic Serres spent the whole of his working life as an artist in England, practising almost exclusively as a marine painter. In 1768 he was one of the thirty-six founder members of the Royal Academy.In 1791 he became Marine Painter to the King. The evidence for a visit by Serres to southern Italy is purely circumstantial. This watercolour shows the view looking from the east towards Naples across the Bay of Pozzuoli; the drifting smoke of Mount Vesuvius can be seen on the horizon. It is a modest gently coloured drawing which reveals a regard for subtle atmospheric effects. Serres has noted with numbers the significant landmarks in the view, and these are described in a key on the reverse.
Gallery label, September 2004