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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Palazzo della Rocella, Posillipo 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 80 Recto:
Palazzo della Rocella, Posillipo 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 78
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Inscribed by the artist in pencil ‘1’ bottom left and ‘1’ top right
Inscribed by ?John Ruskin in red ink ‘78’ bottom left, inverted, and ‘245’ top left, inverted
Stamped in black ‘CLXXXVI 78’ top left, inverted
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The subject of this sketch is the Palazzo della Rocella, a seventeenth-century villa now known as the Villa Chierchia which stands on the shoreline to the west of Naples near the Palazzo Donna’Anna.1 Turner’s sketch looks east from a point near the Villa Emma, a small casino which had belonged to the antiquarian and diplomat, Sir William Hamilton (1731–1803), ambassador to the King of Naples (1764–1800) and husband of the celebrated beauty, Emma. The villa appears in context with the Palazzo Donn’Anna in a more detailed drawing within the Naples: Rome C. Studies sketchbook (Tate D16091; Turner Bequest CLXXXVII 4).
A small part of the composition with a distant view of Vesuvius spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 79 verso (D16062; Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 77a).

Nicola Moorby
August 2010

The villa is now the headquarters of the Circolo Nautico Giovinezza (Youth Sailing Club). It can be seen in the distance in a watercolour by Abraham-Louis-Rodolphe Ducros (1747–1810), Posillipo seen from Palazzo Donn’Anna, Naples (Museum of San Martino), reproduced in Giuliano Briganti, Nicola Spinosa and Lindsay Stainton, In the Shadow of Vesuvius: Views of Naples from Baroque to Romanticism 1631–1830, exhibition catalogue, Accademia Italiana delle Arti e delle Arti Applicate, London 1990, p.89.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Palazzo della Rocella, 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-palazzo-della-rocella-posillipo-r1137987, accessed 26 January 2022.