Joseph Mallord William Turner

Naples from the Ponte della Maddalena


Not on display

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 48 a

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint for this sketch of Naples is the Ponte della Maddalena, a bridge which stood near the coastline to the east of the city (within the present-day Vittorio Emanuele III docks) and carried the Via Marinella over the River Sebeto. The view looks west across the bay towards the old port with the Castel Nuovo and the Mole lighthouse, whilst rising above on the right is the hill of Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa (Charterhouse) of San Martino, and beyond that the greater heights of Camaldoli. On the far right-hand side of the composition is an oblique view of the bridge itself whilst the small architectural feature along the wall is one of two eighteenth-century shrines which were placed along the crossing to Saints Gennaro and John Nepomuk. For related sketches see folios 48 verso–49 verso (D15649–D15651; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 46a–47a) and the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16113; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 25). Compare also a near-contemporaneous drawing by Turner’s friend and collaborator, James Hakewill (1778–1873), Naples from the Ponte della Maddalena 1816 (British School at Rome Library).1

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

See Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.5.44, p.272, reproduced.

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