Joseph Mallord William Turner

Castel Nuovo, Naples, with Vesuvius in the Distance


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 × 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 67 a

Catalogue entry

The Castel Nuovo is a large fortress also known as the Maschio Angioino, which stands beside the quayside near the main port in Naples. Originally dating from the thirteenth century, the castle with its five cylindrical towers has been extended and rebuilt a number of times. This sketch depicts a view of the western side of the building with four of the five towers visible.1 The campanile which rises above the main entry point, the Arco di Trionfo, is no longer extant, and neither are the lower walls surrounding the castle complex. Rising in the background is the unmistakable silhouette of Vesuvius and Monte Somma.
Further studies of the Castel Nuovo can be seen on folios 59–59 verso, 64 verso–65 verso (D15670–D15671, D15683–D15685; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 57–57a, 62a–63a).

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

Finberg incorrectly suggested that the sketch showed another of Naples’s castles, the Castel Capuano, Finberg 1909, p.545.

Read full Catalogue entry


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