Joseph Mallord William Turner

Views of the Coast near Sorrento


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 189 × 113 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXV 63 a

Catalogue entry

This page contains several studies taken from a boat along the coast near Sorrento. The scene at the top appears to depict the village of Marina Grande at Sorrento with Vesuvius in the background to the north.1 The same location can be seen on folio 60 (D15847; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 59). Second and third from the top are related views of the coastline between Alimuri and Sorrento which shows the steep tufa cliffs and the Lattari Mountains beyond. As Turner’s inscriptions indicate the remaining drawings at the bottom of the page represent the view looking in the opposite direction north and west across the Bay of Naples. The three studies form a continuous sequence from Vesuvius to Naples with Capodimonte and the hill of Castel Sant’Elmo, and ending in the Posillipo Hill and the islands of Procida and Ischia.
For further views of the Sorrentine coastline from the sea see folios 61 verso–63 verso and 65–66 verso (D15850–D15854 and D15857–D15860; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 60a–62a and 64–65a).

Nicola Moorby
November 2010

Compare a watercolour by James Baker Pyne (1800–1879), Marina Grande, Sorrento 1858, see Victorian and British Impressionist Pictures, Christie’s, London, 17 November 2010, lot 27, reproduced in colour.

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