View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
This sketch appears to depict a view of La Gaiola, a small group of islets off the southernmost point of the coast of Posillipo, near the village of Marechiaro.1 In the right-hand foreground is a small inlet containing some ancient Roman ruins known as the Scuola di Virgilio (School of Virgil), also sometimes known as the ‘Caso del Mago (House of the Sorcerer). The classical poet, Virgil, was believed to possess magical powers and there are a number of sites associated with him in Naples and the surrounding area.
Compare a view after Fabris, View of Scola di Virgilio near the Point of Posilipo, 1777, from Views in and Near Naples by Archibald Robertson (British Museum). Reproduced at http://www
.britishmuseum. .org /research /search_the_collection_database /search_object_image .aspx ?objectId =3149497 &partId =1 &searchText =virgilio &fromADBC =ad &toADBC =ad &orig =%2fresearch%2fsearch_the_collection_database .aspx &images =on &numPages =10 ¤tPage =1 &asset_id =885872