Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Ponte della Sanità, Naples, from above the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità

1819

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Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 255 x 403 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D16112
Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 24

Catalogue entry

The Ponte della Sanità is a viaduct in Naples, built during the early nineteenth century to carry the new road, Nuova Strada di Capodimonte or Corso Napoleone (present-day Corso Amedeo di Savoia), north from Via Toledo to Capodimonte. This highly unusual composition depicts the bridge from the north with the heights of Castel Sant’Elmo dominating the distance beyond.1 Turner’s viewpoint appears to be from the upper stories of a building flanking the Basilica of Santa Maria della Sanità (also known as the Chiesa di San Vincenzo). This seventeenth-century church is built on a Greek cross design with a central dome and twelve smaller lateral domes in four groups of three. Visible in the bottom left-hand foreground are three of the lateral domes from the north-west corner. An alternative view of the church from the bridge can be found in the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15689; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 65a).
1
A view from the bridge looking in the opposite direction towards Capodimonte and the church, Ponte della Sanita sulla Strada nuova di Capodimonte’, can be found in Pinelli Bartolomeo Pinelli, Nuova Raccolta di Ventiquatrro Vedute de’Contorni di Napoli, Rome 1823.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscription by an unknown hand in pencil ‘[?M]’ bottom right, ascending right-hand edge.

Nicola Moorby
November 2010

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