Joseph Mallord William Turner

Castel dell’Ovo and the Chiaia Waterfront, Naples, from the Vomero Hill


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 255 × 403 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 12

Catalogue entry

Many of Turner’s Neapolitan sketches are panoramic vistas across the city taken from elevated positions. The viewpoint for this detailed study of the area between Castel dell’Ovo and the Chiaia waterfront is the Vomero Hill rising to the north of Naples. Turner appears to be facing south from a location near present-day Salita Petraio, looking down upon the dome and Baroque façade of the Church of Santa Maria Apparente in the central foreground. Visible in the distance are the silhouettes of the Sorrentine peninsula and the island of Capri, whilst to the west (right) is the tip of the cape of Posillipo. As his inscription records the terraced slopes below Castel Sant’Elmo and the complex of Certosa San Martino were (and still are in part) a private vineyard. Turner made a similar study in this sketchbook which he worked up with watercolour (see Tate D16101; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 13). There are also related views in the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15663–D15664; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 53a–51) and the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D16003–D16006; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 46a–48).
Blank save for being stamped in black ‘CLXXXVII 12’ and with Turner Bequest monogram, bottom left.

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

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