Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views of Molina; Also Part of a View of the Schola Tomb of Mamia on the Via dei Sepolcri, Pompeii

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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
D15753
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 9

Catalogue entry

As Turner’s inscription identifies, the subject of the two landscape sketches on the left-hand side of this page is Molina, a small town named after its water mills (mulino), which lies in the valley (Valle Bonea) north of Vietri sul Mare on the inland road between Naples and Salerno. For further views see folios 8 verso and 32–33 (D15752 and D15797–D15799), as well as the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15988, D15991 and D15994; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 39, 40a, 42).
On the right-hand side of the sheet is the continuation of a drawing from folio 8 (D15751). Turner has folded back the page above and extended the composition onto the paper beneath. The subject is a view of the Via dei Sepolcri (Street of the Tombs) in Pompeii near the Porta Ercolano (Herculaneum Gate). This part of the vista depicts part of the schola tomb of Mamia, a sepulchral monument in the form of a semicircular bench which is carved with a Latin dedication to the owner. Turner has transcribed part of that text, the full inscription of which reads ‘MAMIAE. P. F. SACERDOTI. PVBLICAE. LOCVS. SEPVLTVR. DATVS. DECVRIONVM. DECRETO’. The ends of the seat are decorated with the sculptural form of a griffin. The exedra bench can still be seen in situ but the remains of the tombs visible in the sketch beyond are no longer extant.

Nicola Moorby
September 2010

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