View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
This sketch represents part of a view of the Bay of Baiae, an ancient Roman bathing resort situated on the coast approximately ten miles west of Naples. Turner’s viewpoint is on the shoreline near the so-called Temple of Venus, looking south-east across the semi-circular sweep of the bay. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 85 verso (D15724; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 83a), but this side depicts the Castello di Baia (Castle of Baiae), a former Aragonese fortress built to defend the Gulf of Pozzuoli. The castle was rebuilt during the sixteenth century after the eruption of nearby Monte Nuovo. Similar vistas can be found on folios 84 verso and 86 verso–89 verso; D15722, D15726–D15732; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 82a, 84a–87a).