Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a View of the Gulf of Naples, Seen from Vesuvius

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 x 197 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15642
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 43

Catalogue entry

As Cecilia Powell first identified, Turner made a series of sketches of Naples and the surrounding landscape as seen from the ascent to the summit of Vesuvius, see folio 46 verso (D15645; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 44a).1 This rough pencil study is one of a number of similar on-the-spot views to depict the semi-circular sweep of the Bay and Gulf of Naples looking west/south-west from the slopes of the volcano.2 The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 44 verso (D15641; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 42a), but this part of the prospect includes the curving Posillipo coastline at Capo di Posillipo, and the great hill of Camaldoli which rises in the west above Naples.

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

1
Powell 1984, p.424.
2
For a similar view compare John ‘Warwick’ Smith (1749–1831), City of Naples from Vesuvius 1778–9 (Tate, T08509).

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