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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Sailing Boats in the Bay of Naples 1819

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 2 Verso:
Sailing Boats in the Bay of Naples 1819
Turner Bequest CLXXXVI 2 a
Pencil on white wove paper, 113 x 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This sketch of sailing vessels in the Bay of Naples must have been taken from a boat off the coast. The horizon is dominated by the unmistakeable silhouette of the cone of Vesuvius. The boat on the left-hand side of the view is a felucca, a wooden sailing craft with a lateen or triangular sail which were a common sight in the Italian seas. Gillian Forrester has suggested that sketches like these may have informed the inspiration and composition for a later unpublished design for the Liber Studiorum, The Felucca (see Tate D08175; Turner Bequest CXVIII U).1 However, the scene is more reminiscent of Turner’s watercolour vignette illustration, Bay of Naples for Rogers’s Italy (see Tate D27660; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 143).

Nicola Moorby
July 2010

Forrester 1996, p.146.

How to cite

Nicola Moorby, ‘Sailing Boats in the Bay of Naples 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-sailing-boats-in-the-bay-of-naples-r1137837, accessed 25 May 2024.