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