Joseph Mallord William Turner

Villa Pausilypon, Posillipo; and a Distant View of Vesuvius

1819

Not on display

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
D16062
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 77 a

Catalogue entry

The subject of the main sketch on this page is the remains of the villa of Publius Vedius Pollo, a wealthy first-century Roman ‘equestrian’, infamous for his cruelty to his slaves. Also known as the Villa Imperiale di Pausilypon, the ancient ruins stand above the rocky coastline of Posillipo, west of Naples, near the island of Gaiola. Turner’s sketch looks west towards the high narrow cliff face of Cala Trentaremi beyond.
As the artist’s inscription points out, the silhouette of Vesuvius on the left-hand side of the sheet is not part of the same view but belongs to the composition inscribed ‘1’ on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 80 (D16063; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 78).

Nicola Moorby
August 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

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