Not on display
The subject of this sketch is the Palazzo della Rocella, a seventeenth-century villa now known as the Villa Chierchia which stands on the shoreline to the west of Naples near the Palazzo Donna’Anna.1 Turner’s sketch looks east from a point near the Villa Emma, a small casino which had belonged to the antiquarian and diplomat, Sir William Hamilton (1731–1803), ambassador to the King of Naples (1764–1800) and husband of the celebrated beauty, Emma. The villa appears in context with the Palazzo Donn’Anna in a more detailed drawing within the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16091; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 4).
A small part of the composition with a distant view of Vesuvius spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 79 verso (D16062; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 77a).
The villa is now the headquarters of the Circolo Nautico Giovinezza (Youth Sailing Club). It can be seen in the distance in a watercolour by Abraham-Louis-Rodolphe Ducros (1747–1810), Posillipo seen from Palazzo Donn’Anna, Naples (Museum of San Martino), reproduced in Giuliano Briganti, Nicola Spinosa and Lindsay Stainton, In the Shadow of Vesuvius: Views of Naples from Baroque to Romanticism 1631–1830, exhibition catalogue, Accademia Italiana delle Arti e delle Arti Applicate, London 1990, p.89.