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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Four Views of Naples, Including the City and the Island of Capri Seen from Capodimonte 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 69 Recto:
Four Views of Naples, Including the City and the Island of Capri Seen from Capodimonte 1819
D15692
Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 67
Pencil on white wove paper, 122 x 197 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘[?Naples]’ centre left-hand edge
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in blue ink ‘281’ bottom right and ‘67’ top right
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXIV 67’ bottom right
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The four sketches on this page relate to Turner’s exploration of Naples, and probably represent views of the hilly landscape to the north of the city. The vista in the bottom right-hand corner is the only one which can be identified with confidence, as a view looking south from the hill of Capodimonte, near the Bourbon Reggia or Palazzo di Capodimonte. In the distance to the right is the hills and fortress of Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino, whilst visible on the horizon is the island of Capri. Also visible in the middle distance of the composition is the new straight road, the Nuova Strada di Capodimonte or Corso Napoleone (present-day Corso Amedeo di Savoia), built during the early nineteenth century to connect the lower part of the city with Capodimonte.
Related views can be seen on folio 68 verso (D15691; Turner Bequest CLXXXIV 66a), as well as in the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16110–161111; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 22–23). Compare also a copy after another artist which Turner made as a young man in collaboration with Thomas Girtin (1775–1802) (see Tate D36536; Turner Bequest CCCLXXV 15), and a near-contemporaneous drawing by James Hakewill (1778–1843), Naples and the Island of Capri from Capo di Monte (British School at Rome Library).1

Nicola Moorby
June 2010

1
See Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.5.40, p.267, reproduced.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Four Views of Naples, Including the City and the Island of Capri Seen from Capodimonte 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, June 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-of-naples-including-the-city-and-the-island-of-r1138152, accessed 25 June 2019.