- Museum number
In the gulf of Salerno; a stormy sea near a rugged coast, a boat on the water, two figures on a low cliff near the foreground, the sun bursting through a break in the clouds, from which rain drives down on the coast. 1786
- Production date
Height: 169 millimetres
Width: 246 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This watercolour represents a storm on the coast of the gulf of Salerno in Campania. The caverns, grottos and cliffs of this area attracted Smith and his contemporaries, Thomas Jones, John Robert Cozens and Joseph Wright of Derby who were strongly influenced by the earlier tradition of dramatic coastal paintings (often depicting storms) by Claude Joseph Vernet and others (see also John Robert Cozens, Victoria and Albert Museum: DYCE.714).
The watercolour is signed and dated 1786 and, like other watercolours painted for John Trevelyan, was executed after Smith’s return to Britain. We are not aware of sketchbooks by Smith so we can only assume that his practise was to execute sketches on the spot and then produce finished watercolours in the studio based on them (as was Cozens's practise - his Italian sketchbooks, with pencil notes and monochrome washes, are in the Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester).
There is another version of the Bay of Salerno by Smith (with Leger in 1977), which was exhibited at the Watercolour Society in 1816 (n.262).
This watercolour comes from the collection of John Trevelyan; for information on the whole group, see 1871,1111.1.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1988 Oct-Dec, Manchester, Whitworth AG, 'Travels in Italy', no. 128
1990 May-Jul, Naples, Castel Sant'Elmo, 'Vesuvius', (no cat.)
1990 Oct-Nov, London, Accademia Italiana, 'Vesuvius', ex-cat.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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