A Wall in Naples

Image credit: The National Gallery, London

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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.

The National Gallery, London



A Wall in Naples


about 1782


Oil on paper laid on canvas


H 11.4 x W 16 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1993

Work type



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