Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sailing Boats in the Bay of Naples

1819

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15911
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 2 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch of sailing vessels in the Bay of Naples must have been taken from a boat off the coast. The horizon is dominated by the unmistakeable silhouette of the cone of Vesuvius. The boat on the left-hand side of the view is a felucca, a wooden sailing craft with a lateen or triangular sail which were a common sight in the Italian seas. Gillian Forrester has suggested that sketches like these may have informed the inspiration and composition for a later unpublished design for the Liber Studiorum, The Felucca (see Tate D08175; Turner Bequest CXVIII U).1 However, the scene is more reminiscent of Turner’s watercolour vignette illustration, Bay of Naples for Rogers’s Italy (see Tate D27660; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 143).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

1
Forrester 1996, p.146.

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