A View of Castello Aragonese, Ischia, with Vesuvius beyond

A View of Castello Aragonese, Ischia, with Vesuvius beyond



1793 – 1867

English School

“A View of Castello Aragonese, Ischia with Vesuvius beyond”

Oil on canvas, signed and dated 1845

74 x 112.2 cms 

 29 1/8 x 44 ¼ inches

This notable Victorian marine painter was born in Sunderland on the 3rd of December, 1793. He joined the Navy in 1808 where he met Thomas Clarkson, the abolitionist, from whom Stanfield adopted his middle name. In 1818, Stanfield was discharged from the Navy due to an injury and painted theatrical scenes for a living. He was a close friend of Charles Dickens and painted scenery for many of Dickens' amateur productions at Tavistock House.

In his spare time, Stanfield painted European coastal views and in 1824 he was elected a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. His painting career was further encouraged five years later when one of his works was favourably received by the Royal Academy. Stanfield was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1832 and made a full member in 1835. Soon thereafter, he received commissions from William IV to paint 'The Opening of the New London Bridge' and 'Portsmouth Harbour.' His most famous work is 'The Battle of Trafalgar,' painted in 1863 for the United Services Club in Pall Mall, where it still hangs.

He exhibited a total of 135 paintings at the Royal Academy including 'Calm in the Gulf of Salerno' and 'A Skirmish off Heligoland.' He exhibited over 50 paintings elsewhere including 'A View of the Islands of Ischia and Procida from Rocks,' a similar painting to the one described above, which was exhibited at the British Institute in 1843. The Naval Museum in Greenwich has five of his works, the Victoria and Albert has seven watercolours, and 'Orford' hangs in the Wallace Collection.

Stanfield's son, George Clarkson Stanfield (1828 - 1878), also became a Royal Academy exhibiting artist. He also specialised in continental scenes and his work is only slightly inferior to that of his father.

It is said of Stanfield that 'few have more often depicted the sea, and none in a manner more scenic.' He is also described as 'a noble painter and, if not the greatest, amongst the great.' He died May 18th, 1867, in London.


1793 - 1867


Oil on canvas




signed and dated 1845