Joseph Mallord William Turner

Copies of Paintings by Veronese in the Sala del Collegio of the Palazzo Ducale, 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 29

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. Ian Warrell has identified the sketches on this page as copies of paintings by Veronese (1528–88) in the Sala del Collegio (Council Chamber) of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace). The subjects are, from top left to bottom right, as follows:
The subject of the details in the top left-hand corner is currently unidentified. The study is inscribed ‘Yel’, ‘GB’ and ‘L’.
The four figures across the top right-hand side of the page represent female allegorical figures from the ceiling. The details of the sketches have become confused by pencil off-set from the opposite sheet but identifiable details include the form of an eagle (Moderation), second from the right, and another figure annotated ‘Y[ellow]’ third from the right. This suggests that the sketches record the four corner panels.
Second row, left-hand side is a copy of Sebastiano Venier giving thanks to the Redeemer after the Battle of Lepanto, 1581–2. This painting is situated on the end wall above the dais of the throne. Turner has annotated the sketch with colour notes ‘B’, ‘W’, ‘Q Yell’ and ‘Yell’.
Second row, right-hand side is a copy of Mars and Venus, 1575–8, from the ceiling, which includes the campanile of San Marco in the background.
As Warrell notes, sketching in many Italian palaces and galleries was strictly restricted and Turner’s on-the-spot records would therefore have been made surreptitiously.1 Further studies relating to the Palazzo Ducale can be found on folios 27 verso (D13910).

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

Ian Warrell, David Laven, Jan Morris and others, Turner and Venice, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2003, p.119.

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