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Turner made several sketches of the picturesque Bay of Baiae, an ancient Roman bathing resort situated on the coast approximately ten miles west of Naples. This study is part of a panoramic view taken from near the Punta dell’Epitaffio, a rocky outcrop on the coast near Lake Lucrino depicted in the left-hand foreground. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 86 verso (D15726; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 84a), but this side shows the vista looking east towards the island of Nisida and the Sorrentine peninsula beyond.
For another view of the Punta dell’Epitaffio see folio 87 verso (D15728; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 85a).