Joseph Mallord William Turner

Posillipo from Mergellina; and Part of a View of Naples from the Hill beneath Certosa di San Martino and Castel Sant’Elmo


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 122 × 197 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 54

Catalogue entry

This page contains two distinct landscape views. In the bottom right-hand corner is a rough sketch of Mergellina, a small fishing village and port about a mile west of Castel dell’Ovo in the main city of Naples. The vista looks south towards the distant coastline of Posillipo.
Also inverted on the page is another drawing which forms part of a panoramic view of Naples seen from the slopes of the hill just beneath the Certosa (Charterhouse) of San Martino and Castel Sant’Elmo. The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 55 verso (D15663; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 53a), but this side depicts the vista looking east and south-east towards Vesuvius and the Sorrentine peninsula, with the Neapolitan coastline at Castel dell’Ovo in the middle distance. As Lindsay Stainton has identified, the view is very similar to that of a watercolour study in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16101; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 13).1 There is also a further related prospect (Tate D16100; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 12).

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

Briganti, Spinosa and Stainton 1990, p.134.

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