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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Naples from the Sea, with Castel dell'Ovo and the Chiaia Waterfront 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 11 Verso:
Naples from the Sea, with Castel dell’Ovo and the Chiaia Waterfront 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 11 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
As the figure of the man in the foreground of this sketch indicates, Turner’s viewpoint for this panoramic view of Naples was from a boat to the south. It is one of a sequence of sketches which were perhaps drawn during the artist’s expedition to Paestum and the Amalfi coast, see folios 3 verso–12 (D15913–D15919 and D15922–D15930).
The composition continues on the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 12 (D15930), but this section depicts the western shoreline of the city. On the right-hand side is the headland of Castel dell’Ovo in front of the hill of Pizzofalcone, with the greater heights of Castel Sant’Elmo and the Certosa di San Martino rising immediately beyond. To the left is the long waterfront of the Chiaia district with the gardens of the Villa Reale promenade (present-day Villa Comunale) and the hill of Camaldoli. The separate study of a building in the top left-hand corner is not conclusively identified although it may represent the Church of Santa Maria di Piedgrotta at the foot of the Posillipo Hill, west of Naples.

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Naples from the Sea, with Castel dell’Ovo and the Chiaia Waterfront 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-from-the-sea-with-castel-dellovo-and-the-chiaia-r1137853, accessed 18 June 2024.