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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Naples and Vesuvius, from near Virgil's Tomb 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 15 Recto:
Naples and Vesuvius, from near Virgil’s Tomb 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 15
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘15’ top right and ‘245’ bottom left
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXVI 15’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
As Cecilia Powell first identified,1 the subject of this sketch is a view of Naples and Vesuvius seen from a point near the so-called Tomb of Virgil, a Roman burial vault which lies within the Posillipo hillside, above the opening of the Grotto of Posillipo (now known as the Crypta Neapolitana in present-day Parco Vergiliano). The vista looks east across the city and bay towards the distant peaks of Vesuvius and Monte Somma. Related studies can be seen on folio 72 verso (D16048; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 70a), as well as in the Pompeii, Amalfi, Sorrento and Herculaneum sketchbook (Tate D15865–D15858; Turner Bequest CLXXXV 68–69a) and the Naples; Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16102; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 14)

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

Powell 1984, p.425.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Naples and Vesuvius, from near Virgil’s Tomb 1819 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 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-naples-and-vesuvius-from-near-virgils-tomb-r1137860, accessed 20 May 2024.