Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice: Shipping Moored off the Riva degli Schiavoni

1840

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 246 x 305 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D32168
Turner Bequest CCCXVI 31

Display caption

Turner’s watercolours of Venetian exteriors are dominated by the interplay of brilliant golds, yellows, blues and turquoise. Architecture tends to be lightly traced in pencil or ink, dissolving into mist, reflections and radiant light. They revel in the ‘indistinctness’ for which he was being attacked in public, and assert the artist’s right to interpret the world in personal and poetic terms.

This watercolour may represent the scene behind Palladio’s church of S Giorgio Maggiore, which Turner painted repeatedly on his visit.

Gallery label, September 2004