Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a View of Naples from the Steps of San Nicola da Tolentino; and Studies in the Cloister


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 47 v

Catalogue entry

Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Sta Ursula Bene [?grafico] | n St Orsola | St Nicolo Tolentino’ top right, and ‘17’ and ‘L’ within sketch of portico. Also ‘AD | VRBIS TUTELAM |ET | LEVAMEN’ far right, parallel with right-hand edge
As Turner’s inscriptions indicate, the sketches on the right-hand side of this page represent studies within the cloister of the Church of San Nicola da Tolentino, which lies on the lower slopes of the hill below Certosa di San Martino and Castel Sant’Elmo, beside the monastic complex of Suor Orsola Benincasa (now the headquarters for the university of the same name on present-day Corso Vittorio Emanuele). On the left-hand side meanwhile is a view of the exterior of the church, part of the panoramic composition continued on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 50 (D16006; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 84). Turner’s viewpoint is the top of the stairs which lead into the adjacent monastery looking south towards the front of the basilica with its buttressed sides. The same building from the other side can be seen in the foreground of a coloured study in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16101; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 13).
The paper is discoloured owing to light exposure dating from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, see folio 49 (D16004; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 47).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

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