Tommaso Ruiz active in Naples about 1740

The Bay of Naples seen from Posillipo



Tommaso Ruiz active in Naples about 1740


The Bay of Naples seen from Posillipo


About 1740


Oil on copper


32.2 x 78.5 cm (unframed); 42 x 88.5 cm (framed)






On Display

This small painting of the Bay of Naples is a typical scene that would have been collected as a souvenir by one of the many Grand Tourists who visited the city in the second half of the eighteenth century. It is painted on copper, which allowed the artist to use of a very fine brush to focus on small details, such as the parade of ships and the buildings along the coast. In the upper left, on the higher hill, are the profiles of the Castel Sant'Elmo and the Carthusian monastery of Saint Martin. Below is the lower hill of Pizzofalcone where the barely visible silhouettes of domes stand out against a blurred background. Projecting out to sea is the Castel dell'Ovo, with Vesuvius pluming in the distance. There is little biographical information on Tommaso Ruiz, apart from what can be deduced from his signed and sometimes dated works, which limit his activity to the 1740s in Naples. It is possible that he was of Spanish origins. Ruiz became a view painter, or vedutista, producing descriptive and topographic views of Naples, many of which were sold as souvenirs to Grand Tourists and are now in various private collections.

Tommaso Ruiz The Bay of Naples seen from Posillipo About 1740 © Compton Verney