Coastal Scene with a Fortress, Naples, ItalyArtist:
, British, 1819 - 1900
Material and Medium: bodycolour and charcoal on paper
Dimensions: Support: 276 x 384mm
Mount: 420 x 592mm
Accession Number: CGSG00033
Ruskin made this drawing when his artistic tastes were still developing. According to his own notes, until 1842, the year after he made this study, his drawings generally imitated either his drawing masters, or the artists his father admired. He described his inspirations much later in 1883:
‘These sketches, though full of weaknesses and vulgarities, have also much good in them… all of them are of historical interest in their accuracy of representation. Sketching only in this way from nature, I was trying to make water-colour drawings and vignettes in imitation of Turner; which were extremely absurd and weak.'
Ruskin visited Naples during a 10 month tour of Italy that he made with his parents. In this view, the arched ruins are probably part of the thermal bath complex of Baiae. The fortress in the background of the watercolour is the Castello Aragonese di Baia, which was built in medieval times.