Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views of Pozzuoli; and Part of the Ruins of the So-Called Temple of Serapis


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 x 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 71

Catalogue entry

The two landscape views on this page depict Pozzuoli, an ancient port approximately eight miles west of Naples. The upper vista is drawn from a closer viewpoint than the lower, but both represent a general view of the town and bay seen from the west. The old port and castle can be seen at the end of the semi-circular sweep of coastline with the island of Nisida and the Sorrentine peninsula in the distance beyond. The dark line of blocks projecting into the sea from the shore in the lower drawing represents the remains of the Roman breakwater, popularly known as the Bridge of Caligula. Meanwhile, the three columns visible near the central foreground of the upper study are part of the remains of the so-called Temple of Serapis. A more detailed study of an ornamental fragment of masonry from the site can also be seen in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. For more detailed sketches and descriptions of both of these ruins see folio 72 verso (D15698; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 70a). Turner’s inscription on the left-hand side of the top sketch records his viewpoint, the church and convent of San Francesco, which later became the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio di Padova, on present-day Via Gian Battista Pergolesi.
Further sketches of Pozzuoli can be seen on folios 1, 66, 73 verso and 90 verso–91 (D15555, D15686, D15700, D15734–D15735; Turner Bequest 1, 64, 71a, 88a–89).

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

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