Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views Between Naples and Rome: Bay of Gaeta; and Ariccia


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 19 c

Catalogue entry

This page contains two views related to Turner’s return journey between Naples and Rome. The lower vista represents the bay and headland of Gaeta seen from Mola di Gaeta (present-day Formia) to the north. The bay sweeps round in a great curve towards the headland and the so-called mausoleum of Munatius Plancus, also known as the Torre d’Orlando, built on the summit of the hill above. A small part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 21 (D15948; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 20). The prospect is almost identical to that in a drawing by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Mola di Gaeta 1816 (Library of the British School at Rome),1 engraved for the Picturesque Tour of Italy (published 1820), a project for which Turner had also contributed illustrations in 1819. It is extremely likely therefore that he would have seen Hakewill’s study prior to his own Italian tour. Furthermore, as a young man, Turner had made a watercolour copy of a similar view by another artist, see Dr Monro’s Album of Italian Views (Tate D36469; Turner Bequest CCCLXXIII 56). Related sketches dating from the outward trip to Naples can be found in the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15606–D15607 and D15609–D15610; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 25a–26 and 27–27a).
At the top of the sheet is an inverted sketch representing a view of Ariccia, a town approximately thirteen miles south-east of Rome.2 The town is seen from the south-east with the Church of Santa Maria dell’Assunzione on the left and on the Palazzo Chigi on the right. An alternative view can be seen on folio 16 verso (D15939; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 16a). For a more detailed discussion and sketches of Ariccia see the Albano, Nemi, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15455; Turner Bequest CLXXXII 82a).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

See Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.5.57, reproduced p.289.
Powell 1984, p.425.

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