Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a View from the Quayside, Naples, with the Immacolatella and the Mole Lighthouse


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 x 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 39

Catalogue entry

The subject of this sketch is part of a view from the quayside of the old port of Naples near Castel Nuovo. Turner’s viewpoint is standing just in front of the Church of Santa Maria di Porto Salvo looking south-east towards the Immacolatella, the eighteenth-century quarantine station which still stands on the waterfront near present-day Molo Immacolatella Vecchia.1 Built during the 1740s by Neapolitan architect Domenico Antonio Vaccaro (1678–1745), the building is so called because of the statue of the Virgin which surmounts the façade. Turner transcribed the inscription beneath the statue on another page of this sketchbook, see folio 40 verso (D15633; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 39a). To the right of the composition is the former Mole (pier) with the lighthouse.2 As Turner’s study shows the port was a busy, lively area of the city, crowded with shipping and people. In the bottom right-hand corner, he has noted some figures selling vegetables. The drawing continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread with the unmistakeable silhouette of Vesuvius and Monte Somma, see folio 39 verso (D15631; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 38a). For a view of the Immacolatella from the sea, see the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15915; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 4a).

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

In certain eighteenth-century topographical engravings the building is known as the Palazzo della Deputazio.
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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