Joseph Mallord William Turner

Posillipo and Mergellina from the Vomero Hill, Naples


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite on paper
Support: 255 x 403 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 11 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this drawing is a view of the Posillipo Hill above the small harbour of Mergellina to the west of Naples.1 Turner’s viewpoint appears to be looking south-west from a road curving along the lower slopes of the Vomero hill. The zigzag pathway ascending the terraced slopes near the centre of the composition is probably the Salita di Sant’Antonio (present-day Rampe Sant’Antonio), a road which leads from Piedigrotta at the foot of the Posillipo Hill to the Church of Sant’Antonio.

Nicola Moorby
November 2010

Compare a painting by Alexandre-Hyacine Dunouy (1757–1841), La spiaggia di Mergellina e la collina di Posillipo (private collection), reproduced in colour in Anna Ottani Cavina, Un Paese Incantato: Italia Dipinta da Thomas Jones a Corot, exhibition catalogue, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Parigi and Palazzo Te, Mantova, Italy 2001, no.89, p.137.

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