Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views of Naples from the Posillipo Hill near Sant’Antonio; also Part of a View from Camaldoli

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 189 x 113 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D15868
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 69 a

Catalogue entry

The Church of Sant’Antonio stands on the slopes of the Posillipo Hill overlooking the Bay of Naples at the western end of the city near Mergellina. It was reached from the Piedigrotta district by a winding zigzag road, the Salita di Sant’Antonio (present-day Rampe Sant’Antonio) which was frequently taken by tourists who wished to visit the nearby Tomb of Virgil, see folio 70 (D15865: Turner Bequest 68).
As Turner’s inscription indicates, the road also formed part of the route over the Posillipo Hill to Pozzuoli and the volcanic landscape west of Naples known as the Campi Phlegrei (Burning Fields). The two sketches at the top of this sheet represent views taken from the ascent looking east across the city. The uppermost study depicts the heights of Castel Sant’Elmo framed by the steep sides of the sloping ravine and with the campanile of Sant’Antonio rising in the foreground. The lower scene meanwhile shows the curve of the bay towards Castel dell’Ovo with Vesuvius in the distance beyond. The building in the right-hand corner may belong to the vineyard which adjoined the Tomb of Virgil at this time, see folio 71 (D15867; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 69). For a similar view see the Naples, Paestum, Rome sketchbook (Tate D15936; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 15).
The details at the bottom of the page represent part of the landscape composition which has spilled over from the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 72 (D15869). The drawing depicts the view from the hill of Camaldoli.

Nicola Moorby
October 2010

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