Joseph Mallord William Turner

Bay of Naples from Posillipo


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 257 × 404 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 19

Catalogue entry

This view of Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples is taken from the coast of Posillipo to the south-west. Visible along the shore are a number of the historic villas and palaces which characterise this part of the coast, including in the centre, the Palazzo Donn’Anna, see folio 5 (D16092), whilst in the middle distance is the city of Naples with the heights of Castel Sant’Elmo rising above the headland of Castel dell’Ovo. Turner’s viewpoint appears to be a point on the coastal road of Via Posillipo, near the villas of Roccaromana and Martinelli (near present-day Piazza San Luigi). Related views can be seen on another sheet within this sketchbook is folio 7 (D16094), and also in the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D16075; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 84). The neo-classical structure in the top right-hand corner of the composition remains unidentified, although it may be the same building which appears in another sketch (Tate D16074; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 83a). The
Technical notes:
Long detached from the Naples, Rome C. Studies sketchbook, this sheet was perhaps once folio 19 (see the concordance in the introduction).
Not visible. Stuck down to mount.

Nicola Moorby
November 2010

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