Joseph Mallord William Turner

Amalfi Coast from the Sea, with Atrani and Amalfi


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 52 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is a view of Amalfi, and the adjacent village of Atrani, seen from a boat navigating the rugged coastline from Salerno. The curving substructures rising above the shoreline in the centre represents Atrani, with the thirteenth-century Church of Santa Maria Maddalena,1 whilst visible beyond is the coastal road leading to Amalfi. On the far left-hand side can be seen a sixteenth-century watch-tower situated on the promontory near Conca dei Marini. The composition of the vista is very similar to a view after John ‘Warwick’ Smith which Turner copied in the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (see Tate D13971; Turner Bequest CLXXII 21a). For further sketches of Amalfi and Atrani see folios 35, 46 and 53–57 (D15803, D15821 and D15835–D15843). Turner may have referred to this sequence for his later vignette illustration for Rogers’s Italy, published 1830 (see Tate D27684; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 167).

Nicola Moorby
October 2010

See an earlier watercolour by John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831), Otrano, Bay of Salerno 1778–9 (Tate, T08507). The church now possesses two domes added during the early twentieth century.

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