Joseph Mallord William Turner

Copies by Turner of Venetian Paintings, including Works by Palma, Tintoretto and Veronese; and Notes by James Hakewill on Venice


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 88 × 114 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXI 25

Catalogue entry

One of Turner’s key objectives during his 1819 tour of Italy was to reacquaint himself with the work of the sixteenth-century Venetian school, whose work he had first seen in Paris in 1802. During his stay in Venice he therefore filled a number of pages of the Route to Rome sketchbook with drawings and notes on pictures found in various locations around the city. At the bottom of this page he has made four schematic sketches of paintings which were probably all seen in the Basilica of Santi Giovanni e Paolo (also known as San Zanipolo). The studies are as follows, from left to right:
Turner’s inscription for the sketch on the far left-hand side suggests that this is an unidentified work by ‘Palma’, possibly one of the paintings by Palma il Giovane (1548–1628) formerly in the Cappella del Rosario (destroyed by fire in 1867). Turner has annotated the main figure with the word ‘Red’.
Second from the left represents a work by Rocco Marconi (died 1529), Christ between SS Peter and Andrew, still in situ in the south transept of San Giovanni e Paolo. Inscribed ‘Rocco Marconi’.
Owing to the inscribed name beneath, Ian Warrell has suggested this may represent a copy of a work by Bonifazio Veronese (1487–1553). Turner has annotated the sketch ‘1563’, ‘B’, ‘G’ and ‘[?Bonifazio]’.
John Gage first identified the sketch on the far right-hand side as Tintoretto’s, Votive Picture of the Chamberlains Michele Pisani, Lorenzo Dolfi and Marino Malipiero (also known as Madonna of the Treasurers or Madonna dei Camerlenghi) circa 1567.1 Now in the Accademia, the work was originally situated in the church of San Giovanni e Paolo.
Warrell has identified the meaning of the inscription in the top right-hand corner as an aide memoire by the artist to visit the group of late Titians in the Palazzo Barbarigo (now mostly in the Hermitage). Copies of two of these paintings can be seen on folio 23 verso (D13902).
The page also contains an inscription by James Hakewill, part of his notes to Turner in preparation for the artist’s first tour of Italy. The text, which was first transcribed by Finberg,2 reads ‘The Palace Pisani for the | Alexander & family of Darius by | P. Veronese – | for Mrs Hakewill observe particularly’. It represents an exhortation to see the painting The Family of Darius before Alexander, 1565–7 (National Gallery), by Paolo Veronese (circa 1528–88), which could then be found in the Palazzo Pisani in Venice.3 Turner’s copy of this work, dutifully annotated with notes on colour and tone, can be seen in the top left-hand corner of the page, spilling over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 24 verso (D13904).

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

Reproduced in colour in Giovanna Nepi Scirè, The Accademia Galleries in Venice, Venice 1998, no.14, pp.100–1.
Finberg 1909, p.498.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop