Joseph Mallord William Turner

Naples from the Sea, with the Mole and the Castel Nuovo


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

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 old port of Naples with the L-shaped Mole (pier) and lighthouse on the left and the large fortress of the Castel Nuovo beside the waterfront on the right.2 A number of large sailing ships are docked alongside the jetty of the Mole and to the left is a vessel tipped over at an unusual angle which has perhaps been positioned thus for repairs. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 3 verso (D15913). For similar sketches see the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15625 and D15673; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 35 and 58a)

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

Finberg 1909, p.551.
The port of Naples has undergone extensive redevelopment since the early nineteenth century but the approximate position of the lighthouse was near the present-day ferry terminal of Molo Angioino (Stazione Marittima).

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