Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 6 Recto:
Naples from the Sea, with the Arsenal and the Palazzo Reale 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 6
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 6
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXVI 6’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
First Loan Collection selected from the Turner Bequest, various venues and dates, 1869–1931 (no catalogue but numbered 124a).
Original Drawings in Watercolour, Etc., by J.M.W. Turner, R.A., T. Girtin and E. Dayes. Lent by the Trustees of the National Gallery, Laing Art Gallery and Museum, Newcastle, 1922 (16).
Display of Watercolours from the Turner Bequest, Tate Gallery, London, December 1937–September 1939, continuing after the Second World War–December 1952 (no catalogue).
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.I, p.551, as ‘Naples, from the sea. Half of this drawing (on p.6) forms one of the “Four Studies: Naples” in First Loan Collection, No.124’.
Cecilia Powell, ‘Turner on Classic Ground: His Visits to Central and Southern Italy and Related Paintings and Drawings’, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London 1984, p.193 notes 97 and 100.
Cecilia Powell, Turner in the South: Rome, Naples, Florence, New Haven and London 1987, p. note 76.
Ian Warrell, ‘R.N. Wornum and the First Three Loan Collections: A History of the Early Display of the Turner Bequest Outside London’, Turner Studies, Summer 1991, vol.11, no.1, p.42.
As Finberg first identified, the sequence of sketches on folios 3 verso–12 (D15913–D15919 and D15922–D15930) represents detailed panoramic views of Naples drawn from the sea, perhaps dating from the outward or return trip to Paestum and the Amalfi coast which Turner undertook during his sojourn in the city.1 Visible in this study is the coastline between Santa Lucia and the old port. Lying directly along the water’s edge at the centre of the vista are the buildings of the d’arsena or arsenale (arsenal or naval shipyard), whilst beyond this is the long seventeenth-century façade of the Palazzo Reale. At the top of the hill rising above the city is the Certosa (Charterhouse) di San Martino and the Castel Sant’Elmo. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 5 verso (D15917), whilst a successive view can be seen on folio 7 (D15919).
This page was selected by Ralph Nicholson Wornum for the First Loan Collection, a group of sixty-five works exhibited in the provinces during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.2 It was removed from the sketchbook and displayed within a mount. Consequently, like the other works included in those tours, the drawing has suffered badly from over-exposure to light and the paper has yellowed considerably.
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