Joseph Mallord William Turner

?A View off the Fondamenta Nuove, Venice, towards San Pietro di Castello; Waterfront Buildings, with the Campanile and Dome of San Geremia in the Distance

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
D31895
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 53 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, there are two waterfront sketches here, each with a brief annotation. The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Distant buildings. – “Brescato (?),” “St. Jenomi (?).”’): ‘outlying islands’.1
The upper view may be to the south-east from the Lagoon off the Fondamenta Nuove, towards the dome and campanile of San Pietro di Castello at the eastern end of the city. Compare the slight variant views in that direction on folio 52 recto (D31892). The word written above is yet to be fully deciphered. There is a small separate view below to the left, apparently with a tower; it is unclear whether it relates directly to the other subjects.
Below, the waterfront subject may be from further west on that side of the city, perhaps looking south-eastwards from near the Lagoon entrance to the Canale di Cannaregio, with the dome and campanile of San Geremia on the Grand Canal in the distance (see for example folio 34 verso; D31857), as a reading of Turner’s note as ‘St Jeremia’ would suggest. A low sun and its reflection are indicated, implying the sketch was made in the early morning if the orientation is correct. One of the slight studies on folio 54 recto opposite (D31896) may show the Ponte dei Tre Archi, along the Canale di Cannaregio.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1011.

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