Joseph Mallord William Turner

Boats and Figures on the Rio del Palazzo, Venice, under the Bridge of Sighs


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 89 × 149 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXX 77

Catalogue entry

With the pages turned horizontally, this is a continuation upwards from a somewhat more detailed view of boats and figures along the Rio del Palazzo on folio 76 verso opposite (D32412), possibly the first drawing made during Turner’s 1840 visit.1 Having initially described the subject as simply ‘Boat, with figures, &c.’, Finberg recognised that the Bridge of Sighs is shown.2
This part of the view is restricted to a cursory indication of the bridge, set high up between the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) on the left and the New Prisons on the right, albeit with only slight details of the latter here, apparently indicating the underside of its shallow stone arch but also a vertical central element giving a rough sense of the articulation of its south side. See under D32412 for further discussion.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

For the itinerary up to this point see Powell 1995, pp.65, 81 note 9.
Finberg 1930, p.170; see also undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.1032.

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