Joseph Mallord William Turner

Two Views of Salerno; and Capri from the Bay of Naples


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
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 CLXXXV 47

Catalogue entry

This page contains three distinct landscape sketches. The main study depicts the harbour at Salerno with a number of boats docked along the waterfront in front of the fourteenth-century church, the Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata near Porta Catena. Of particular interest is the vessel in the centre which is a felucca, a wooden sailing vessel with a lateen or triangular sail which was a common mode of transport in southern Italy. The scene in the top right-hand corner, meanwhile, represents the Mole of Salerno and the view looking south-west along the Amalfi coast in the direction of Vietri. In the foreground is a small rowing boat filled with figures and Turner’s viewpoint may also be from a boat leaving the harbour. For further sketches of Salerno see folio 47 verso (D15824).
At the centre of the right-hand edge is a third sketch, part of a larger composition continued from folio 45 (D15819). Turner has folded back the previous pages in order to extend the view onto this sheet, and as his inscription indicates, it represents part of the Bay of Naples, specifically the Posillipo Hill with the distant island of Capri beyond.

Nicola Moorby
October 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like