Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a View of the Castel dell’Ovo and the Crocelle, Naples, from Pizzofalcone

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 122 × 197 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15680
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 61

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint for this sketch is the Rampe Pizzofalcone, a small street which ascends the Pizzofalcone Hill (or Monte Echia) in tight zig-zags from Via Chiatamone to just beneath the Gran Quartiere di Pizzofalcone (present-day Caserma Nino Bixio). The vista on this page looks south and west towards the sea, with the Castel dell’Ovo on its small headland on the left and the Capo di Posillipo (Cape of the Posillipo coast) in the central background. The sharply receding perspective of the street meanwhile, with its arched substructures and successive levels, leads the eye to the dome of the Chiesa della Concezione al Chiatamone, more commonly known as ‘Le Crocelle’. The church contains a monument to the writer Revd John Chetwode Eustace (1761–1815), whose guide book, A Classical Tour Through Italy (first published in 1813), formed the basis for much of Turner’s travel preparations for the 1819 tour, see the Italian Guide Book sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CLXXII).
The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 62 verso (D15679; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 60a). Today the view is obscured by the large modern hotels built along the waterfront Via Partenope during the twentieth century.

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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