Joseph Mallord William Turner

The So-Called Temple of Diana in the Bay of Baiae; ?Boats on the Seafront at Naples; and Studies of Figures

1819

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

Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 122 x 197 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15737
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 90

Catalogue entry

As Cecilia Powell first identified,1 the subject of the study in the top right-hand corner of this page is the so-called Temple of Diana, a Roman bath-house with a vaulted half-dome roof which is one of a number of ruined buildings in the ancient bathing resort of the Bay of Baiae.2 Further studies can be found on folios 80 verso, 82 and 85 (D15714, D15717 and D15723; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 78a, 80 and 83). The ruin features in Turner’s later oil painting, The Bay of Baiae, with Apollo and the Sibyl exhibited 1823 (Tate, N00505).3
The lower vista is not conclusively identified but it appears to represent the seafront at Naples with Vesuvius in the background. The structures along the quayside resemble the grand Baroque fountains and tabernacles which could be found in the Marinella and Santa Lucia districts of the city, see, for example, folios 51 and 60 verso (D15654 and D15675; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 49 and 58c).
In the top left-hand corner of the sheet is a group of rough thumbnail figure studies.

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

1
Powell 1984, p.425.
2
For sketches of the ‘temple’ by other artists see John Robert Cozens (1752–97), The Temple of Diana on the Bay of Baia ?1782, (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester), reproduced at http://www.whitworth.manchester.ac.uk/collection/advsearch/objdisp/?irn=2928&QueryPage=%2Fcollection%2Fadvsearch%2Fresults%2F&QueryName=BasicQuery&QueryTerms=temple+of+diana&StartAt=1&QueryOption=all&all=SummaryData|AdmWebMetadata&Submit=Search; a drawing by Robert Adam (1728–92) from ?1755 (Sir John Soane’s Museum), reproduced at http://www.soane.org.uk/drawings/index.cfm?display_scheme=181&object_id=512, accessed June 2010; and John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831), Remains of the Temple of Diana on the Coast of Baia, near Naples, 1808 (Ashmolean Museum, Oxford), reproduced in Francis W. Hawcroft, Travels in Italy 1776–1783: Based on the “Memoirs” of Thomas Jones, exhibition catalogue, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 1988, no.138, p.114.
3
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, no.230.

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