Joseph Mallord William Turner

Naples from the Sea, with the Marinella Waterfront


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 5

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, perhaps dating from the outward or return trip to Paestum and the Amalfi coast which Turner undertook during his sojourn in the city.1 Visible in this study is the Marinella waterfront of Naples which lies along the shoreline between the old port and the Carmine castle. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 4 verso (D15915).
The boat in the centre is a felucca, a wooden sailing vessel with a distinctive lateen or triangular sail. They were a popular mode of transport around the Italian coast and were a particularly common sight in Naples.2 Gillian Forrester has suggested that sketches like these may have informed the inspiration and composition for a later unpublished design for the Liber Studiorum, The Felucca (see Tate D08175; Turner Bequest CXVIII U).3

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

Finberg 1909, p.551.
See for example an oil study by Thomas Jones (1742–1803), The Bay of Naples and the Mole Lighthouse, 1782 (Tate, T08246).
Forrester 1996, p.146.

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