Joseph Mallord William TurnerTwo Views of the Villa Reale and Castel dell'Ovo, Seen from Mergellina 1819

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Artwork details

Artist
Title
Two Views of the Villa Reale and Castel dell'Ovo, Seen from Mergellina
From Gandolfo to Naples Sketchbook
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV
Date 1819
MediumGraphite on paper
Dimensionssupport: 122 x 197 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15657
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 50 a
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Catalogue entry

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 52 Verso:
Two Views of the Villa Reale and Castel dell’Ovo, Seen from Mergellina 1819
D15657
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 50 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 122 x 197 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘veg’ and ‘[?afar]’ bottom left of lower sketch
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains two related sketches of the eastern entrance to the Villa Reale gardens, seen from the seafront at Mergellina. Beyond the park are the hill of Pizzofalcone and the small headland of the Castel dell’Ovo stretching into the sea beyond, whilst in the far distance is the vast silhouette of Vesuvius and Monte Somma. The lower vista has been drawn taken from a closer viewpoint than the upper.
The royal promenade of Villa Reale (present-day Villa Comunale park) was designed by Carlo Vanvitelli (1739–1821) in the late eighteenth century for the Bourbon King, Ferdinand IV. The gardens run along the length of the Chiaia waterfront between Piazza Vittoria and Piazza della Repubblica and in Turner’s day stretched directly to the edge of the sea, although they are now bordered on the south by the Via Caracciolo. They were laid out with neo-classical statues and fountains, as well as a tall sundial (meridiana), which may be the needle-shaped object visible in the left-hand middle distance of the upper view. Further sketches can be found on folio 52 (D15656; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 50), in the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D16015; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 52a), and in the Pompeii, Amalfi, Sorrento, Herculaneum sketchbook (Tate D15862–D15863; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 66a–67).

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

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