Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, with St Mark’s Campanile, the Piazzetta, Santa Maria della Salute and the Dogana, with the Redentore and San Giacomo on the Giudecca in the Distance


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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 111 x 184 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 4

Catalogue entry

The drawing continues across folio 3 verso opposite (D14493). Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘View from the Mola [sic], with S. Maria della Salute and Dogana in the distance’) to read: ‘View from beyond the Molo’.1 He also elaborated: ‘Redentore. Doga. Salute, Mint, Columns, Doges Pal, Prison, Campanile, with scaffolding &c. Ponte del Vin in foregd. Caserna. Danieli’s. Note wooded hutchment far end of Danieli’s – now gone & shape of bridge – now altered see [Antonio] Quadri’s views [engraved in 1831]’.2 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell wrote in another copy: ‘Redentore l. Hotel Daniell r’.3
The viewpoint is the Riva degli Schiavoni. In the foreground of this page is the Ponte del Vin, in front of the Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo). The smaller buildings beyond have been replaced by a taller one; beyond are successively the New Prison, the Ponte della Paglia, the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) with the campanile of St Mark’s above, and the columns at the entrance to the Piazzetta from the Molo.
In the light of more detailed treatments in the contemporary Milan to Venice sketchbook (compare for example Tate D14414; Turner Bequest CLXXV 52a) as compared with the Venice views in this one, Finberg took the present drawing as an example:
The whole scene is lightly touched in, but most of the essential features of each building are ignored. One feels that Turner was now sketching a scene composed of familiar features, and that his attention was directed to the scene as a whole rather than to its parts. I have no doubt that when he made this sketch he was toying with the idea of painting a picture of this view which would have challenged Canaletto on his own ground.4
For other drawings made in the vicinity, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.516.
Ibid., opposite p.516; see also Finberg 1930, pp.58, 61.
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.516.
Finberg 1930, p.61.

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