The subject of this sketch is Monte Somma (left) and Vesuvius (right) and the Sorrentine peninsula, seen across the Bay of Naples from Posillipo. Turner’s viewpoint appears to be looking east from a villa on the coastline, possibly somewhere on the Capo di Posillipo near present-day Villa Rosebery. Portici can be seen stretching along the coastline at the base of the volcano, and a small trail of smoke rises from the crater above. The artist made an unfinished coloured study of Vesuvius from a similar location (Tate D16106; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 18), and another related view can be seen in the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15669; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 56a).
Blank, save for being stamped in black ‘CLXXXVII 8’ and Turner Bequest monogram bottom left.