Joseph Mallord William Turner

Molina and the Ponte del Diavolo


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 40 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is Molina, a small town named after its water mills (mulino), which lies in the valley (Valle Bonea) north of Vietri sul Mare on the inland road between Naples and Salerno. Turner has pictured the view looking north in the direction of Cava de’ Tirreni with the mills on the banks of the river in the foreground. In the centre of the composition is the town’s dominant landmark, the old aqueduct known as the Ponte del Diavolo, which was destroyed by a flood in 1954. For further sketches see folios 41 and 44 (D15988 and D15994; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 39 and 42), and also the Pompeii, Amalfi, Sorrento, Herculaneum sketchbook (Tate D15752 and D15797–D15799; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 8a and 32–33). Compare also a watercolour by John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831), Paper Mills at Vietri, 1778–9 (Tate T08503), which appears to depict the same buildings and bridge in the central foreground.

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

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