Joseph Mallord William Turner

Copy of ‘Mercury and the Three Graces’ by Tintoretto from the Palazzo Ducale; and Sketches of a Plant and Figure

1819

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Pen and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 88 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13910
Turner Bequest CLXXI 27 a

Catalogue entry

One of Turner’s key objectives during his 1819 tour of Italy, was to reacquaint himself with the work of the sixteenth-century Venetian school, whose work he had first seen in Paris in 1802. During his stay in Venice he therefore filled a number of pages of the Route to Rome sketchbook with drawings and notes on pictures found in various locations around the city. Ian Warrell has identified the main sketch on this partial page as a schematic copy of Mercury and the Three Graces, 1576–7, by Tintoretto (1518–97) in the Sala dell’Anticollegio of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Venice. As Warrell notes, sketching in many Italian palaces and galleries was strictly restricted and Turner’s on-the-spot records would therefore have been made surreptitiously.1 Further studies relating to the Palazzo Ducale can be seen on folios 29 (D13913).
Also on this page are rough, on-the-spot sketches of a plant and a figure.

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

1
Ian Warrell, David Laven, Jan Morris and others, Turner and Venice, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2003, p.119.

Read full Catalogue entry

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