Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Awning across the Canale di San Marco Waterfront, Venice, with San Giorgio Maggiore, Santa Maria della Salute and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) 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
D31844
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 28

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Buildings’): ‘a Traghetto with awning up’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell similarly marked another copy.2 With the page turned horizontally, the foreground shows an awning slung across a quayside, with rapid marks possibly indicating figures and small boats. Beyond to the left are what seem to be schematic renderings of the familiar outlines of San Giorgio Maggiore to the west across the Canale di San Marco, and the domes of Santa Maria della Salute further off beyond the Bacino. Above the awning at the centre appears to be the spire of the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s).
Compare the more detailed views from this direction on folios 25 verso and 26 verso (D31839, D31841). The viewpoint in this case was presumably one of the sequence of broad quays running south-eastwards from the Riva degli Schiavoni in the neighbourhood of San Biagio south of the Arsenale. Compare two contemporary watercolour studies from this direction, both featuring striped awnings (Tate D32158–D32159; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 21, 22).

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.1010.
2
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1010.

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