Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Sketches of Vesuvius; Including a View from the Waterfront between Pizzofalcone and Castel dell’Ovo, Naples


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 17

Catalogue entry

This page contains two sketches of Vesuvius. The larger composition depicts the view looking east from the quayside at the foot of the Pizzofalcone Hill. To the right is the small islet of Megaride with the Castel dell’Ovo (Castle of the Egg), connected to the mainland by a narrow jetty. The position of the sun in the sky to the right of the volcano’s smoking crater reveals that Turner was sketching during early morning with the sunlight reflected on the waters of the bay below. He has noted the bustle of human activity along the waterfront including a man with a hat carrying a sack, and another figure herding a cow. Similar views can be seen on folio 13 verso (D15933) and an alternative but related coloured study of the Castel dell’Ovo can be found in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16093; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 6).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

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