Joseph Mallord William Turner

Pizzofalcone and Castel dell’Ovo, Naples


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 53

Catalogue entry

This sketch represents a view from the west of the Pizzofalcone Hill and the waterfront near Castel dell’Ovo, also known as the Borgo di Chiaia.1 The buildings on the left-hand side of the composition are the military barracks of the Gran Quartiere di Pizzofalcone (present-day Caserma Nino Bixio), whilst at the foot of the hill on the right is the dome of the Chiesa Crocelle a Chiatamone. In the top right-hand corner Turner has added a study of the Castel dell’Ovo itself which, if he had not run out of space on the page, ought to appear to the right of the main vista. A small part of the drawing spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 54 verso (D10615; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 52a). This part of the Neapolitan coastline was transformed during the late ninteenth century by the construction of the Via Partenope. A similar view can be seen in the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15635; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 40a).
Compare a watercolour by William Marlow (1740–1813), Borgo di Chiaia, Naples (Leeds City Art Galleries), reproduced in Francis W. Hawcroft, Travels in Italy 1776–1783: Based on the “Memoirs” of Thomas Jones, exhibition catalogue, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester 1988, p.86, no.94, and a related drawing, Naples (Tate T09185).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

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