Joseph Mallord William Turner

Posillipo and Mergellina from the Vomero Hill, Naples


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 255 × 403 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 11 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of this drawing is a view of the Posillipo Hill above the small harbour of Mergellina to the west of Naples.1 Turner’s viewpoint appears to be looking south-west from a road curving along the lower slopes of the Vomero hill. The zigzag pathway ascending the terraced slopes near the centre of the composition is probably the Salita di Sant’Antonio (present-day Rampe Sant’Antonio), a road which leads from Piedigrotta at the foot of the Posillipo Hill to the Church of Sant’Antonio.

Nicola Moorby
November 2010

Compare a painting by Alexandre-Hyacine Dunouy (1757–1841), La spiaggia di Mergellina e la collina di Posillipo (private collection), reproduced in colour in Anna Ottani Cavina, Un Paese Incantato: Italia Dipinta da Thomas Jones a Corot, exhibition catalogue, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Parigi and Palazzo Te, Mantova, Italy 2001, no.89, p.137.

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