Joseph Mallord William Turner

Porta del Carmine, Naples


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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 CLXXXV 77

Catalogue entry

The Porta del Carmine was a fifteenth-century gateway in the medieval walls of Naples which stood on the eastern side of the city at the junction between present-day Via Soprammuro and Via del Carmine. Demolished during the 1860s, the gate is known to have been comprised of two cylindrical towers and an arched doorway decorated with bas-reliefs and frescoes.1 As Turner’s sketch reveals, one side (left) adjoined the fortress known as the Castello di Carmine, whilst visible behind was the soaring campanile of the Church of Santa Maria del Carmine. The road beyond the gate led to the Piazza del Mercato (the Marketplace). The structure in the right-hand foreground appears to be a monumental fountain of Baroque design.
Turner appears to have followed the line of the eastern walls from Porta del Carmine north towards Porta Capuana, see folio 79 verso (D15884; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 77a).

Nicola Moorby
October 2010

Compare a drawing by Sir Francis Seymour Haden (1818–1910), Porta del Carmine 1844 (Tate, T09445). Bas-reliefs from the gate are now in the collection of the Certosa di San Martino museum.

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