Joseph Mallord William Turner

Copies of Paintings in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice, including ‘Slaughter of the Innocents’ and ‘Presentation at the Temple’ by Tintoretto


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink on paper
Support: 114 × 88 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXI 29 a

Catalogue entry

During his 1819 stay in Venice, Turner made a particular study of the famous cycle of paintings by Tintoretto (1518–94) in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. The sketches on this page represent copies of pictures from the ground floor hall. The subjects are, from top left to bottom right, as follows:
Top is a very loose, schematic sketch which appears to depict the Slaughter of the Innocents, 1582–7.1
Ian Warrell has identified the study in the bottom left-hand corner as the Presentation at the Temple (or Circumcision), 1587.2
The details in the bottom right-hand corner are currently unidentified, although they are inscribed ‘Jes’, possibly denoting a biblical subject featuring Jesus. Warrell has tentatively suggested that they represent a copy of the Assumption of the Virgin, 1582–7, also from the lower hall.
Further sketches relating to the Scuola Grande and Chiesa di San Rocco can be seen on folios 23 verso, 24 verso, 25 verso–27 and 30–30 verso (D13902, D13904, D13906–D13909 and D13915–D13916).

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop