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Key facts
Full title The Grotto at Posillipo
Artist Thomas Jones
Artist dates 1742 - 1803
Date made 1782
Medium and support Oil on paper laid on board
Dimensions 20.3 × 27.3 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery
Inventory number L840
Location Room 46
Art route(s) B and C
Image copyright The Gere Collection, on long-term loan to the National Gallery, © Private collection 2000. Used by permission
Collection Main Collection
The Grotto at Posillipo
Thomas Jones

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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