Joseph Mallord William Turner

Mergellina and the Posillipo Hill from the Chiaia Waterfront, Naples


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 63 a

Catalogue entry

This sketch depicts the view looking south-west along the Neapolitan coastline towards Mergellina and the Posillipo Hill. The statues and other ornamental features visible in the right-hand foreground suggest that Turner’s 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 Castel dell’Ovo and Vesuvius see folio 66 (D16035; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 64). 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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