Joseph Mallord William Turner

Castel dell’Ovo and Vesuvius from the Chiaia Waterfront, Naples


Not on display

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 CLXXXVI 64

Catalogue entry

Previously catalogued as the Bay of Gaeta, this sketch in fact depicts the view looking east along the Neapolitan coastline towards the Pizzofalcone Hill and Castel dell’Ovo with Vesuvius in the background. Turner has accompanied the sketch with written inscriptions concerning his observations of human activity along the seafront. The statues and other ornamental features visible in the left-hand foreground suggest that his viewpoint is the Villa Reale (present-day Villa Comunale), a park and royal promenade which runs along the length of the Chiaia waterfront between Piazza Vittoria and Piazza della Repubblica. Built in the late eighteenth century for the Bourbon King, Ferdinand IV, the park contained a number of sculptures and fountains, including the famous Farnese Bull, see folio 54 verso (D16015; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 52a). For a view looking in the opposite direction towards Mergellina and the Posillipo Hill see folio 65 verso (D16034; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 63a). Related vistas can also be found in the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15656–D15657; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 50–50a).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

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