Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Sketches of the Town and Bay of Pozzuoli from the Solfatara Crater


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 72

Catalogue entry

The sweeping vista across the Bay of Pozzuoli from the east is one of the most celebrated views in the Gulf of Naples and an established subject in the Neapolitan vedute tradition.1 The sketches on this page record the prospect three times, each from a slightly different viewpoint on the slopes above the Solfatara crater, probably very near the Santuario di San Gennaro on present-day Via San Gennaro Agnano. The prospect looks south-west past the town of Pozzuoli on the spur of coastline in the middle distance, towards Baiae on the other side of the semi-circular bay with the distinctive promontory of the Cape of Misenum (Capo Miseno) and the islands of Procida and Ischia. Also in the bottom left-hand corner of this page is a separate small study of Pozzuoli seen from a distance.
Related views can be seen on folios 57 verso and 74 verso (D15667 and D15702; Turner Bequest 55a and 72a), whilst a similar prospect can also be found in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16105; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 17).

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

See for example Gabriele Ricciardelli (active 1740s–1780s), The Bay of Pozzuoli, (private collection, Rome), and Jacob Philipp Hackert (1737–1807), The Bay of Pozzuoli 1798 (private collection, Naples), both reproduced in colour in Giuliano Briganti, Nicola Spinosa and Lindsay Stainton, In the Shadow of Vesuvius: Views of Naples from Baroque to Romanticism 1631–1830, exhibition catalogue, Accademia Italiana delle Arti e delle Arti Applicate, London 1990, pp.57 and 74.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop