Thomas Jones

The Bay of Naples and the Mole Lighthouse


Thomas Jones 1742–1803
Oil paint on paper
Support: 245 × 398 mm
Purchased as part of the Oppé Collection with assistance from the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund 1996

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Jones recorded in his Memoirs that between May 1780 and May 1782 he took lodgings in Naples in a 'large new built house or Palace' situated opposite the Custom House for Salt in a noisy area near the old harbour. Here he had access to the flat roof, and from this elevated vantage point made a number of striking oil sketches of Neapolitan rooftops, and probably this view of the Bay of Naples as well. Jones has orientated himself away from the harbour, and painted a simple stretch of water looking across to the Sorrentine peninsula. The view is articulated only by the lighthouse and a sequence of rhythmically placed feluccas. The overwhelming impression is one of stillness and calm.

Gallery label, September 1997

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