The Grotto at Posillipo

1782, Thomas Jones

The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission

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This sketch was made during Jones's second stay in Naples. It depicts the grotto at Posillipo, a tunnel cut by the ancient Romans to link Naples with Pozzuoli, further west along the coast. The tall, thin tunnel, depicted by numerous artists besides Jones, was a marvel of ancient engineering, and the tomb of the poet Virgil was to be found there, a site no cultivated tourist could miss. The tomb itself can be seen to the right of the main entrance of the tunnel.

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