A Wall in Naples

The subject is a wall, pitted with scaffolding holes and apparently stained with the passage of water to the left of the balcony.

It is one of a series of remarkable and original plein-air oil sketches on paper, produced by Jones while living in Naples. Like his other views, it has the appearance of an image observed and recorded from the window or roof of his lodgings. Although the French artist Claude-Joseph Vernet advocated making direct compositional sketches in the open air, for an 18th-century artist to entirely dispense with the usual compositional props of the conventional classical landscape was highly unusual. In doing so, Jones introduced new possibilities for landscape depiction, which would be thoroughly explored and developed in the following century.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1742 - 1803
Full title
A Wall in Naples
Date made
about 1782
Medium and support
Oil on paper laid on canvas
Dimensions
11.4 x 16 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1993
Inventory number
NG6544
Location in Gallery