Joseph Mallord William Turner

Part of a View of the Waterfront of Santa Lucia, Naples, with the Castel dell’Ovo; and a Funeral Procession

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
D15677
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 59 a

Catalogue entry

As Turner’s inscription indicates, the landscape sketch in the bottom right-hand corner of this page represents part of a view of the Castel dell’Ovo seen from the waterfront of Santa Lucia, an historic district in Naples which stretches along the coast between the Riviera di Chiaia and the port. The vista looks south along the quayside towards the headland of the castle with the island of Capri beyond. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 62 (D15678; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 60). The view was a popular one with artists and Turner would almost certainly have been familiar with a near-contemporaneous drawing by his friend and collaborator, James Hakewill (1778–1843), Naples. Sta. Lucia and the Castle dell’Ovo 1816 (British School at Rome Library).1 In 1845, however, the prospect was transformed by a programme of urban restructuring and the building of the present-day waterfront, the Via Partenope.
In the top left-hand corner of the sheet is a seperate study depicting a Neopolitan funeral procession.2 Turner’s attention was clearly captivated by the colourful spectacle of the cortege which he has recorded in written as well as visual notes. The line of mourners learding the ornate catafalque and coffin are carrying tapers and one figure near the front is bearing a cloth-covered standard. On the far left-hand side is a rough likeness of a hooded penitent. The same funerary group can be seen within the foreground of the view of Santa Lucia on folio 62 (D15678; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 60).

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

1
Reproduced in Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.5.41, p.268.
2
Compare the details of a late nineteenth-century photograph by Giorgio Sommer (Fratelli Alinari Museum Collections-Palazzoli Collection, Florence), reproduced at www.alinariarchives.it>, no.PDC–F–002056–0000, accessed June 2010.

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