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Thomas Jones, A Wall in Naples

Key facts
Full title A Wall in Naples
Artist Thomas Jones
Artist dates 1742 - 1803
Date made about 1782
Medium and support Oil on paper laid on canvas
Dimensions 11.4 × 16 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1993
Inventory number NG6544
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
A Wall in Naples
Thomas Jones

A Wall in Naples is not much larger than a postcard. The shuttered windows, irregular pattern of scaffolding holes, patchy cement and water stain from chamber pots thrown out of the window are the freshly observed details of a particular wall, although Jones may have adjusted these slightly to enhance his composition. The sketch is painted from a close viewpoint, probably across the narrow street from Thomas Jones’s roof terrace. The rectangle of sky is intensely blue suggesting that it was a very hot day in mid-summer, probably in August 1782.

The small oil sketches on paper painted in Naples during 1782 have become the best known of all the work that Jones painted during his seven-year stay in Italy. A Wall in Naples is one of five studies of buildings from high viewpoints, which are considered the most original work of his career.

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