Joseph Mallord William Turner, Thomas Girtin

Naples: Looking across the Bay towards Vesuvius from Mergellina

c.1796–7

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artists
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Thomas Girtin 1775–1802
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 270 x 420 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D36542
Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 21

Catalogue entry

Provenance:
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
This was presumably copied from a sketch or watercolour by John Robert Cozens (1752–1797). The washes here are exceptionally perfunctory, and it is tempting to suppose they were applied by a hand other than Turner’s. However the pencil underdrawing seems to be Girtin’s, and the format of the sheet corresponds roughly to several which can fairly safely be ascribed to the Girtin-Turner collaboration, so it seems reasonable to include the sheet in this group under the joint ascription.
The present subject is apparently the work listed in the 1906 Manchester and 1912 Newcastle catalogues of the Fourth Loan Collection, but not in William White’s 1896 catalogue of the initial 1891–5 showing at the Ruskin Art Museum in Sheffield.1 It was presumably introduced as an extra or replacement work at an unknown date after 1895, hence the other venues prior to 1906 are listed here only tentatively.
1
William White, Notes on a Biographical Series of Fifty Drawings and Sketches by J.M.W. Turner, R.A., Belonging to the National Gallery Collection, London 1896.
Verso:
Blank; stamped in brown ink with Turner Bequest monogram.

Andrew Wilton
April 2012

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