Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Views on the Sorrentine Peninsula, Including Capo la Gala and Vico Equense

1819

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15850
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 60 a

Catalogue entry

Turner travelled by sea along the Sorrentine peninsula between Castellammare di Stabia and Sorrento (or perhaps vice versa). The four sketches on this page represent views of the coastline from a boat. The study at the bottom depicts the Lattari mountain range rising above the shoreline with the town of Vico Equense visible in the distance to the right. Situated at the top of the steep tufa cliffs on the left-hand side is the monastery of San Francesco, whilst on the waterfront below is a sixteenth-century watch-tower at the point known as Capo la Gala. The scene at the top of the sheet represents this rocky headland looking in the opposite direction from the south. Finally, the remaining two sketches (centre left and right) both depict the same prospect looking south-west towards Sorrento with the sharp, vertical cliff face known as Punta Scutolo, below Montechiaro, in the distance. The promontory is topped by a small tower. A similar view can be seen in an earlier watercolour by John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831), Coast of Sorrento 1778–9 (Tate, T08499).
For further sketches of the coast near Vico Equense and Sorrento see folios 62–66 verso (D15851–D15860; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 61–65a).

Nicola Moorby
November 2010

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