Joseph Mallord William Turner

Posillipo from the Villa Reale


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 50

Catalogue entry

The Villa Reale (present-day Villa Comunale) is a park and royal promenade designed by Carlo Vanvitelli (1739–1821) in the late eighteenth century for the Bourbon King, Ferdinand IV. It runs along the length of the Chiaia waterfront between Piazza Vittoria and Piazza della Repubblica and, in Turner’s day, stretched directly to the edge of the sea, although it is now bordered on the south by the Via Caracciolo. This sketch depicts a view from the Villa Reale looking south-west towards the hill and coastline of Posillipo. Amidst the trees in the foreground Turner has included some of the neo-classical statues and fountains which adorned the gardens. Further sketches can be found on folio 52 verso (D15657; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 50a), in the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D16015 and D16034–D16035; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 52a and 63a–64) and in the Pompeii, Amalfi, Sorrento, Herculaneum sketchbook (Tate D15862–D15863; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 66a–67).

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

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