Joseph Mallord William Turner

View of Naples from the East

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
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
D15651
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 47 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint for this sketch of Naples is the coastline to the east, near the Ponte della Maddalena, a bridge which stood within the present-day Vittorio Emanuele III docks and carried the Via Marinella over the River Sebeto. The view looks west across the semi-circular bay towards the headland of Castel dell’Ovo and the Posillipo coastline beyond. Further along the waterfront is the old port with the Castel Nuovo and the Mole lighthouse, whilst rising above the city is the hill of Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa (Charterhouse) of San Martino. Visible on the far right-hand side is the tall spire of the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine, and the Castello del Carmine. For related sketches see folios 48 verso–49 and 50 verso (D15649–D15650 and D15653; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 46a–47 and 48a). Compare also a near-contemporaneous drawing by Turner’s friend and collaborator, James Hakewill (1778–1873), Naples from the Ponte della Maddalena 1816 (British School at Rome Library).1
The figures in the bottom right-hand corner of the sheet are details which have spilled over from the composition on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 50 (D15652; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 48).

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

1
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.5.44, p.272, reproduced.

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