Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice - Maria della Salute

exhibited 1844

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 613 x 921 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
N00539

Not on display

Display caption

As the title of this painting suggests, Turner aimed to present a detailed and recognisable image of the city of Venice. The church of Santa Maria della Salute stands at centre, beyond the Dogana (the customs house), with the Giudecca canal on the left and the Zecca (the Mint) on the right. In spite of this, however, when the painting was exhibited one reviewer wrote that it was ‘too evanescent for any thing but a fairy city’

Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

411. [N00539] Venice—Maria della Salute Exh. 1844

THE TATE GALLERY, LONDON (539)

Canvas, 24 1/8 × 36 1/4 (61·5 × 92)

Coll. Turner Bequest 1856 (one of 18–21, 36–40; see No. 383); transferred to the Tate Gallery 1929.

Exh. R.A. 1844 (345).

Lit. Thornbury 1862, i, p. 348; 1877, pp. 466–7; Bell 1901, p. 150 no. 246; Armstrong 1902, p. 235; Finberg 1930, pp. 151, 157; Davies 1946, p. 186; Finberg 1961, pp. 400–01, 508 no. 560.

The view shows the Dogana with S. Maria della Salute behind it in the centre, the Canal della Giudecca on the left, and the Zecca and the Giardino Reale on the right; at one time the picture was known as ‘Venice, Giudecca’. For another, unfinished view of the Salute see No. 502 [N05487]; c.f. also No. 403.

The critics gave this picture qualified admiration. The Morning Chronicle for 8 May 1844 held that this and the ‘Van Tromp’ picture (No. 410) were ‘little inferior to it [Rain, Steam, and Speed, No. 409] either for their strangeness and extravagance, or for their extraordinary beauty and skill’. The Spectator for 11 May thought this and Venice Quay, Ducal Palace (No. 413 [N00540]) ‘too evanescent for any thing but a fairy city’.

Published in:
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984