Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Venice Canal with a Bridge and Distant Tower; St Moriz’s Church, Coburg, from Pfarrgasse

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 198 × 126 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31286
Turner Bequest CCCX 5 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, Turner initially made a slight sketch of a Venetian canal with a bridge and a distant tower, likely a campanile. The precise subject is not established, but is perhaps a side canal towards the western end of Venice between the Grand Canal (see under the recto; D31285) and the Angelo Raffaele Church (see folio 6 recto opposite (D32287).
As noted in the sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey. Turned upright, the page was used for a view of the Gothic St Moriz’s Church in Coburg, seen from the south-east, looking west along Pfarrgasse, as Cecilia Powell has noted.1 Several trees now stand between the south side of the church and the buildings opposite, which are shown where the drawing continues a little way across folio 6 recto opposite (D31287).
Turner’s annotation ‘3’ may refer to the upper stages of the taller of the unequal twin spires at the west end of the church, as he ran out of space at the top to depict its full height. There is a view of the west front on folio 10 verso (D31296); for the numerous other Coburg subjects in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 verso (D31278).2

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Powell 1995, p.242.
2
See also Powell 1995, pp.72, 82 notes 63 and 64.

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