Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Paddle Steamer off the Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, with the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Venice, Entrance to the Piazzetta, Libreria Sansoviniana and Zecca (Mint)

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31879
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 45 a

Catalogue entry

The interrelated views here were made with the page turned horizontally; Finberg later annotated his noncommittal 1909 Inventory entry (‘Buildings from canal’): ‘Shipping & bldgs. Too rough for identification’.1 However, the seemingly convoluted subject is relatively straightforward on close inspection, with a paddle steamer on the Bacino off the south front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) at the bottom right, the two columns at the Molo entrance of the Piazzetta at the centre, and sailing vessels moored off the lightly outlined Libreria Sansoviniana and Zecca (Mint) to the west beyond.
The upper view is a continuation to the right, with the palace loosely reprised at the left, more attention being given to the fenestration of its east side above the Rio di Palazzo, with the shallow roof of the New Prisons at the centre and hints of the Gothic tracery of the Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo) along the Riva degli Schiavoni on the right. There are numerous studies of this familiar scene near the beginning of this sketchbook; compare in particular folios 6 recto and 7 verso (D31801, D31804).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1011.

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