Turner Whistler Monet Room 7

Room 7: Turner Whistler and Monet in Venice

Tate Photography

Monet was sixty-eight when he discovered the enchantments of Venice; once again, he was following in the footsteps of Turner and Whistler.

Turner was attracted to Venice by its famous painters, and its literary and historical associations. But perhaps more important were the beauties of the city itself and its celebrated light effects. His three visits resulted in an astonishing array of paintings and watercolours, produced mainly in his fifties and sixties. Though often radical in their handling of paint, the oils still managed to find buyers, unlike so much of his late work which the critics ridiculed.

Joseph Mallord William Turner, 'St Benedetto, Looking towards Fusina' exhibited 1843

Joseph Mallord William Turner
St Benedetto, Looking towards Fusina exhibited 1843
Oil on canvas
support: 622 x 927 mm frame: 872 x 1176 x 105 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

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Whistler sought refuge in Venice in 1879, broken by the disastrous effects of his lawsuit against Ruskin. He stayed for over a year, producing around a hundred pastels, more than fifty etchings and a few oils. He explored widely: ‘I have learned to know a Venice in Venice that the others never seem to have perceived’.

Monet’s first glimpse of the city left him ‘overcome with admiration’. For over two months he continued the struggle to paint architecture, light and water he’d begun earlier on the Thames. Seduced by the ‘floating city’, he was once again fascinated by a landscape shrouded in mist.

Claude Monet The Palazzo Dario 1908

Claude Monet
The Palazzo Dario 1908

The Art Institute of Chicago