Joseph Mallord William Turner

Copies of Pictures by Tintoretto and Giorgione in the Church of San Rocco, 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 30 a

Catalogue entry

Part of Turner’s sojourn in Venice included a detailed examination of the paintings of Tintoretto (1518–94), particularly those found in the Scuola Grande and Chiese di San Rocco. Ian Warrell has identified the subjects on this page as follows, from top left to bottom right:
The column details framing the composition of the sketch in the top left-hand corner suggest that the subject is either Jesus Makes a Lame Man Walk, 1559.1 or St Roch Struck by the Plague (or St Roch in the Desert), 1580 by Tintoretto.2 The drawing is annotated ‘Light’.
Christ Bearing the Cross, 1506, by Giorgione (circa 1477/8–1510). Inscribed ‘Shadow’. Formerly situated in the left apsidal altar of the church, the painting is currently found on an easel in the Upper Hall of the Scuola Grande di San Rocco.3
The study at the bottom represents Tintoretto’s St Roch Healing the Plague Victims, 1549, situated in the apse of the church.4
The inscription near the top left-hand corner appears to refer to the eighteenth-century artist, Francesco Trevisani (1656–1746), who painted The Miracle of St Anthony 1733–4, also situated in the church.
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 29 verso–30 (D13902, D13904, D13906–D13909 and D13914–D13915).

Nicola Moorby
March 2010

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