Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice: Fireworks on the Molo

1840

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour, bodycolour and chalk on paper
Dimensions
Support: 228 x 300 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D32229
Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 10

Display caption

During the mid-1830s and the early 1840s Turner became increasingly interested in exploring dramatic effects of light and shade. Turner’s combination of dark-toned watercolour, bodycolour and chalk in this work is perfectly suited to the subject of fireworks at night. He uses only a few colours: blue, red and touches of dark brown and, most dramatically, white for the sparks of the fireworks.

Turner’s Venetian works on brown paper have recently been re-dated to 1840, although this continues to be controversial amongst scholars and the works may date from 1833.

Gallery label, September 2004

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