Joseph Mallord William Turner

Figures on the Quayside, Naples; and Two Views of the Coast from the Posillipo Hill


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 53

Catalogue entry

This page contains three distinct landscape views associated with Turner’s sojourn in Naples. At the bottom of the sheet is a study of figures on a quayside with the silhouette of the Castel dell’Ovo visible in the background. Turner’s viewpoint is unidentified although it must be a location near the waterfront at Chiaia or Mergellina; the trees and large statue visible on the far left-hand side of the composition suggest that it may be the gardens of the Villa Reale. The main focus of the drawing however, is the men, women and children taking their leisure in the foreground. Amongst the incidents of human interest which the artist has recorded is a lady with a bonnet who appears to be leaning over the wall to look out to sea whilst a child tries to scramble up beside her. There is also a woman holding a baby, a pair of lovers, and a figure lying along the bench or wall in the bottom right-hand corner.
Inverted on the page are two further sketches which appear to depict the view looking south-west along the coast from the northern end of the long ridge of the hill of Posillipo.

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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