Joseph Mallord William Turner

Naples from the Sea, with the Immacolatella and Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino


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 4 a

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. Visible in this study is the quayside beside the old port of Naples with, in the centre, the Immacolatella, the eighteenth-century quarantine station which still stands on the waterfront near present-day Molo Immacolatella Vecchia.2 Rising beyond is the hill topped by the Certosa (Charterhouse) di San Martino and the Castel Sant’Elmo at its summit. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 5 (D15916). For further sketches of the Immacolatella see the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15632; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 39).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

Finberg 1909, p.551.
In certain eighteenth-century topographical engravings the building is known as the Palazzo della Deputazio.

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