Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin Naples: A Convent with Vesuvius in the Distance c.1796–7

Artwork details

Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
Naples: A Convent with Vesuvius in the Distance
Date c.1796–7
Medium Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 182 x 488 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 20
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Probably commissioned by Dr Thomas Monro
Monro’s posthumous sale, Christie’s, London, 26–28 June and 1–2 July 1833 (day and lot number not known)
Bought by or on behalf of Turner
The pencil work is by Girtin. This was copied from a sketch by John Robert Cozens (1752–1797) in Beckford Sketchbook V, pp.2 verso–3 recto, inscribed ‘Convent at Naples’ and dated ‘Novr. 17. 1782’ (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, D1975.8.2/3).1 C.F. Bell noted that ‘The convent in this sketch has been wrongly identified as Santa Maria della Stella.’
Bell and Girtin 1935, p.67 under no.320; Charles Nugent, British Watercolours in the Whitworth Art Gallery, the University of Manchester: A Summary Catalogue of Drawings and Watercolours by Artists Born before 1880, London and Manchester 2003, p.99, reproduced.
Blank; inscribed by Thomas Girtin in pencil ‘Convent at Naples | Snow on the Top of Vesuvius’; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram. The inscription is copied by Girtin from one on Cozens’s sketch.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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