Joseph Mallord William Turner

Salerno from the East

1819

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15982
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 36

Catalogue entry

The city of Salerno lies on the Amalfi coast within the Gulf of Salerno, approximately thirty miles south-east of Naples. Turner passed through en route to the Greek temples at Paestum and made a number of sketches of the harbour and the surrounding bay. This study depicts a view from the shoreline to the east looking west in the direction of Vietri sul Mare, a town which can be seen in the distance beyond the Mole on the left-hand side of the bay. Visible in the centre of the prospect is the dome and bell-tower of the fourteenth-century Church, the Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata near Porta Catena, whilst on the summit of the hill to the far right-hand side is the eighth-century Castello di Arechi (Arechi Castle). Part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 37 verso (D15981; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 35a).
As a young man, Turner made a copy of a similar watercolour composition by another artist, probably John Robert Cozens (1752–1797), see Dr Monro’s Album of Italian Views (Tate D36471; Turner Bequest CCCLXXIII 58).1 For further sketches of Salerno see folios 39–39 verso and 87 verso–88 (D15984–D15985 and D16078–D16079; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 37–37a and 85a–86) and the Pompeii, Amalfi, Sorrento, Herculaneum sketchbook (Tate D15824; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 47a).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

1
Compare a drawing in a 1793 sketchbook (Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester) by John Robert Cozens (1752–1797), reproduced in Anthony Blunt, Catalogue of Seven Sketch-Books by John Robert Cozens, Sothebys, London 1973, vol.III, no.3.

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