Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sketches from Salerno of Vietri sul Mare and the Plain of Paestum

1819

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 113 x 189 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15980
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 35

Catalogue entry

Both of the sketches on this page appear to represent views from Salerno of the bay of the same name. The upper vista records the sweeping curve of the coastline to the east with the Lattari mountains beyond and Turner has marked the relative position of the plain of Paestum. The lower study meanwhile the view looking west with a distant view of Vietri sul Mare. Nearest to the foreground is the Torre Crestarella, one of a number of medieval watch-towers which are dotted along the length of the Amalfi coast.1 A small part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 36 verso (D15979; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 34a).
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).2

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

1
See for example views 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, nos.11, 12, 15, 16, 18.
2
See ibid., vol.III, no.3.

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