Joseph Mallord William Turner

Naples from the Sea, with Castel Sant’Elmo and Castel dell’Ovo


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 11

Catalogue entry

As Finberg first identified, the sequence of sketches on folios 3 verso–12 (D15913–D15919 and D15922–D15930) represents detailed panoramic views of Naples drawn from the sea.1 The artist perhaps had the opportunity to make these drawings from a boat during the outward or return trip to Paestum and the Amalfi coast. This sketch represents part of a view of the Neapolitan waterfront seen from the south. In the centre is the hill surmounted by Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino, whilst beneath this is the Pizzofalcone hill and the headland of Castel dell’Ovo. The details along the shoreline are very sketchy but identifiable to the left are the Chiaia district and the gardens of the Villa Reale, whilst to the right is the Palazzo Reale, the Castel Nuovo and the Mole lighthouse. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 10 verso (D15927), and a more detailed study can be found on folios 11 verso–12 (D15929–D15930).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

Finberg 1909, p.551.

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