Joseph Mallord William Turner Venice: The Interior of a Theatre c.1840

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Venice: The Interior of a Theatre
Date c.1840
Medium Gouache and watercolour on paper
Dimensions Support: 224 x 293 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D32237
Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 18
View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Technique and condition

This work by Turner is a watercolour and gouache painted sketch on a poor quality brown wove paper. Titled Interior of a Theatre this work appears to be a quick, impression that is made up with a combination of both fluid and dry scratchy marks. The brush strokes seem quite hurried and loose, giving a very sketchy feel to this work.

The overall condition of this work is not good. Having been exposed at some point to significant moisture, there are some quite noticeable dark tide lines over large areas of the support, particularly in the lower half. These are quite disfiguring and certainly confuse the image. The lead white pigment has also degraded having significantly oxidised leaving only a suggestion that it was once white. In some areas the white has disappeared completely leaving a darkish mark with a darker tide line. The only 'white' that remains, perhaps where the paint was applied thicker, appears now as only a grainy wash.

Jo Gracey
April 2001

About this artwork