J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Distant View of Naples, from Via Posillipo 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 86 Verso:
Distant View of Naples, from Via Posillipo 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 84 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner made a thorough exploration of the picturesque landscape to the west of Naples and this prospect depicts a distant view of the city looking north-east across the bay from the Posillipo coast. On the left is the hill surmounted by the Castle of Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino and this slopes away to the centre of the composition with the smaller Pizzofalcone Hill and the headland of Castel dell’Ovo stretching into the sea. Just visible on the far right-hand side is Vesuvius. The vantage point for the sketch is the Via Posillipo, the new coastal road, built during the early nineteenth century on the orders of Joachim Murat, the King of Naples. The supporting arches of the road can just be seen on the far left-hand side. Turner appears to be standing at point near the small bay which shelters the Villa Martinelli and the present-day Villa Mazziotti. The latter was built during the mid-nineteenth century on the site of a former seventeenth-century palazzo, and this may be the waterside structure in the foreground.
For further views from the Via Posillipo see folios 83 verso–87 (D16070–D16077; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 81a–85), as well as the Gandolfo to Naples sketchbook (Tate D15669; Turner Bequest 56a) and the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16094–6, D16106; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 7–9, 18).

Nicola Moorby
August 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Distant View of Naples, from Via Posillipo 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 2010, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-distant-view-of-naples-from-via-posillipo-r1138000, accessed 23 November 2020.