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Departure of Charles of Bourbon for Spain, seen from the Sea
Joli, Antonio
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Joli, Antonio

Modena (Italy), 1700 - Naples (Italy), 1777

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Departure of Charles of Bourbon for Spain, seen from the Sea

1759. Oil on canvas.
Room 021

This painting depicts the moment when the Spanish fleet commanded by the Marquis of La Victoria leaves the port of Naples after having taken aboard the new monarch, Charles III, and his family. Accompanied by a considerable retinue, they were bound for Barcelona to begin their Spanish reign. The work bears the following inscription: His Catholic Majesty Embarking on the 6th day of October 1759 in Naples. A. Joli.

Charles III took the throne after his half-brother, Ferdinand VI (r. 1746-1749) died without offspring in 1759. Ferdinand, who had ruled since 1746, was the son of Philip V by his first wife, Maria Luisa of Savoy, His death led Charles VII of Naples to abandon his kingdom and take over the Spanish Empire, leaving his son, Ferdinand of Bourbon, to rule Naples as Ferdinand IV.

The present painting is a magnificent example of Neapolitan seascapes, with a rich topographical, narrative and anecdotal content that distinguishes it from the Venetian preference for snapshot images of a more poetic and fantastic nature. Joli manages to create a true sense of historical narrative without renouncing a certain degree of lyricism. The spectacular bay with the city’s buildings in the background and the hill crowned by the Capodimonte palace unfold beneath a cloudy blue sky with a striking wealth of detail. With flags flying, the fleet sails westward, towards the left of the canvas, on their way into the marine horizon.

This painting is the companion to another (Museo del Prado, P232) in which Joli shows the dock in Naples as King Charles III is leaving and his former subjects contemplate the scene amidst the hubbub. Both works are from the Museo de la Trinidad.

There are three other autograph versions of this composition, as well as various copies and interpretations. Curiously, the flags are missing from two of these replicas, symbolizing the city’s disheartenment at the king’s departure. This contrasts with the flamboyant festivity of the pennants in Joli’s painting.

El Prado en el Hermitage, Museo Estatal del Hermitage: Museo del Prado, 2011, p.166-167

Technical data

Inventory number
Joli, Antonio
Departure of Charles of Bourbon for Spain, seen from the Sea
Height: 127.5 cm; Width: 204.8 cm
Acquisition by Elizabeth of Farnesio, 1759-1766; Buenavista Palace, 1766, [sn 2]; Heritage of the infant don Luis, 1768; Museo de la Trinidad, 1865.

Bibliography +

Cruzada Villaamil, Gregorio, Catálogo provisional, historial y razonado del Museo Nacional de Pinturas, Madrid, 1865, pp. 268.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Urrea Fernández, Jesús, La pintura italiana del siglo XVIII en España, Secretariado de Publicaciones de la Universidad, Valladolid, 1977, pp. 155.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 341-342.

Carlos III en Italia. Itinerario italiano de un monarca español (1731-1759), Madrid, 1989, pp. 150.

Martínez Cuesta, Juan, El Infante don Gabriel de Borbón y su actividad como mecenas de pintura, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XII, 1991, pp. 39-61.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (II). Museo de la Trinidad, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1991.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1994, pp. 342.

Manzelli, Mario, Antonio Joli. Opera pittorica, Studio LT12, Venezia, 2000, pp. 37. Tav. XIV.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel; Martínez Cuesta, Juan; Pérez Preciado, José Juan, Colecciones de pinturas de Felipe V e Isabel Farnesio. Inventarios Reales, II, Fundación de Apoyo de la Historia del Arte Hispánico, Madrid, 2004, pp. 417.

Toledano, Ralph, Antonio Joli. Modena 1700-1777 Napoli, Artema, Turín, 2006, pp. 76-77, 343, 344-345 XVI.1.

Floridablanca 1728-1808, la utopía reformadora, C. Autónoma de la Región de Murcia, 2008, pp. 88.

Carlos III entre Nápoles y España, Embajada de Italia en España: En, 2009, pp. 104-105.

El Prado en el Hermitage, Museo Estatal del Hermitage: Museo del Prado, 2011, pp. 166-167.

Urrea, Jesús, Antonio Joli en Madrid, 1749-1754, Fondo Cultural Villar Mir, Madrid, 2012, pp. 62-64, 66, 68, 90.

Carlos III y el Madrid de las Luces, Ayuntamiento de Madrid,, Madrid, 2017, pp. 20.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 233.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 233.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 279b.

Catálogo Museo de la Trinidad, 1865. Núm. 667.
ESCUELAS ITALIANA. / ANTONIO JOLI. [...] 667. Embarco de Carlos III en Nápoles. / Lienzo.- Al. 1,28.- An. 2,05. / Firmado. Imbarco de S. M. C. In Napoli il di 6 Otto in Napoli 1759, Joli de Dipi. / Vista desde el mar del embarco para sus nuevos reinos de S. M. C. D. Carlos III.

Inv. Museo de la Trinidad, Pintura. Núm. 667.
Una marina con el embarque de S M en la baia de Napoles en 1755 en primer termino se ven multitud de embarcaciones empaeradas muy pequeñas / joyli de elipe dudoso / alto 1,28 ancho 2,04 / y sin moldura en el despacho de / Nº 21 / S.P.

Inscriptions +

1759. A. JOLI. [en la vela de una embarcación]
Signed and dated. Front, lower right corner

IMBARCO DE S.M. C. IL DI 6 OTTO.ER IN NAPOLI 1759. A. JOLI. [en la vela de una embarcación]
Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

Carlos III y el Madrid de las luces
13.12.2016 - 29.04.2017

Antonio Joli, View of Queen Maria Amalia of Saxony at the Arch of Trajan in Benevento
10.11.2011 - 30.04.2012

El Prado en el Hermitage
San Petersburgo
25.02.2011 - 29.05.2011

La Corte de los Borbones Españoles en Nápoles y la llegada de Carlos III a España
28.10.2009 - 10.01.2010

Floridablanca (1728-1808), la utopía reformadora
20.12.2008 - 22.02.2009

Floridablanca (1728-1808), la utopía reformadora
18.09.2008 - 08.12.2008

Location +

Room 021 (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Transport, Maritime / Transport, River

Update date: 09-04-2022 | Registry created on 02-12-2015

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