Joseph Mallord William Turner

Camaldoli, from the Pozzuoli Entrance of the Grotto of Posillipo


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 x 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 54 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts a view of the heights of Camaldoli, the highest hill of Naples which rises above the north-west of the city. The building visible upon the summit is a monastery, the Eremo di Monte Giove. The artist’s viewpoint appears to be looking north-west from the slopes of the Posillipo Hill. The dark cavernous opening on the left-hand side may be the western entrance of the Grotto di Posillipo (today known as the Crypta Neapolitana), a tunnel built by the Romans to pass directly through the hill between Posillipo and Pozzuoli. Like many nineteenth-century tourists Turner seems to have journeyed through the tunnel in order to reach the historic sites to the west of Naples, and sketches of the eastern entrance (in present-day Parco Vergiliano) can be seen on folios 53 verso–54 verso (D15659–D15661; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 51a–52a) and in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16098; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 11).

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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