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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Four Views in the Gulf of Naples: Including the Rione Terra, Pozzuoli from the Sea; and Moonlight on the Bay of Baiae 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 1 Recto:
Four Views in the Gulf of Naples: Including the Rione Terra, Pozzuoli from the Sea; and Moonlight on the Bay of Baiae 1819
D15555
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 1
Pencil on white wove paper, 122 x 197 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘Girl dancing with | [?Cansonets] Fisherman’ bottom left of sketch at top’
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in blue ink ‘281’ bottom right and ‘1’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXIV 1’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This page contains several views associated with Turner’s exploration of the coastline within the Gulf of Naples. The main sketch in the top left-hand corner represents a view of the Rione Terra, or old port of Pozzuoli seen from the sea. The buildings built directly on the seafront include the Cathedral (Duomo) of San Procolo on the left and the castle on the right. A couple of boats are moored against the quayside and Turner’s written inscription records an observed incident of a ‘girl dancing’ to some ‘fishermen’, possibly with castanets. For further sketches of the port see folios 66, 73–73 verso and 91 (D15686, D15699–D15700 and D15735; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 64, 71–71a and 89).
Beneath the view of Pozzuoli are two further landscape drawings. The larger of these is a rough outline study depicting the light of the crescent moon reflecting on the waters of the Bay of Baiae near Cape Misenum (Capo Miseno). The smaller thumbnail sketch is too rough to be positively identified but perhaps depicts the smoking volcanic crater of Solfatura in the Campi Flegrei (Phlegraean or Burning Fields). Parallel with the right-hand edge of the sheet there is also a third sketch incorporating the indistinct outline of some hills.

Nicola Moorby
May 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Four Views in the Gulf of Naples: Including the Rione Terra, Pozzuoli from the Sea; and Moonlight on the Bay of Baiae 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 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-four-views-in-the-gulf-of-naples-including-the-rione-terra-r1138017, accessed 19 May 2024.