The sweeping vista across the Bay of Pozzuoli from the east is one of the most celebrated views in the Gulf of Naples and an established subject in the Neapolitan vedute tradition.1 Turner’s viewpoint for the sketches on this page appears to from a location on the slopes above the Solfatara crater, probably very near the Santuario di San Gennaro on present-day Via San Gennaro Agnano. The foreground details and inscriptions suggest that he is standing in a vineyard or gardens of a small villa. The prospect looks south-west past the town of Pozzuoli on the spur of coastline in the middle distance, towards Baiae on the other side of the semi-circular bay with the distinctive promontory of the Cape of Misenum (Capo Miseno) and the islands of Procida and Ischia. Also at the bottom of this page is a separate small study with inscriptions.
Related views can be seen on folios 57 verso and 74 (D15667 and D15701; Turner Bequest 55a and 72), and in the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D16068; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 80a), whilst a similar prospect can also be found in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16105; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 17).
See for example Gabriele Ricciardelli (active 1740s–1780s), The Bay of Pozzuoli, (private collection, Rome), and Jacob Philipp Hackert (1737–1807), The Bay of Pozzuoli 1798 (private collection, Naples), both reproduced in colour in Giuliano Briganti, Nicola Spinosa and Lindsay Stainton, In the Shadow of Vesuvius: Views of Naples from Baroque to Romanticism 1631–1830, exhibition catalogue, Accademia Italiana delle Arti e delle Arti Applicate, London 1990, pp.57 and 74.
- Bay of Pozzuoli(17)