Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rooftops from the Hotel Europa (Palazzo Giustinian), Venice, with the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) and San Giorgio Maggiore Beyond

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 245 × 305 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D32142
Turner Bequest CCCXVI 5

Catalogue entry

As first recognised by Finberg, the viewpoint is the Hotel Europa (the Palazzo Giustinian; see the Introduction to this subsection),1 looking either from Turner’s room, apparently high up at the north-eastern corner, or the roof above it, north-east to the campanile of St Mark’s on the left, barely begun as two parallel pencil strokes, and south-east to the roughly indicated portico and dome of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore. Both are seen through the windows of the room in Tate D32219 (Turner Bequest CCCXVII 34). Compare also Tate D32173, D32179, D32224, D32229, D32254, D35882 and D35949 in the present grouping (Turner Bequest CCCXVI 36, 42, CCCXVIII 5, 10, CCCXIX 6, CCCLXIV 43, 106).2 As Ian Warrell has noted, the present treatment ‘features washing hung up to dry among the chimney stacks’, albeit with no sign of the servants or laundresses who appear in D32173;3 in each case the foreground is likely the roof of the Palazzo Vallaresso Erizzo (now the Hotel Monaco), immediately east of the Europa.
1
See Finberg 1930, p.173.
2
See also Wilton 1975, p.137, and Stainton 1985, p.61.
3
Warrell 2003, p.138.
Technical notes:
There is some loose pencil under-drawing, and roughly indicated architectural forms are ‘drawn’ in wash towards the bottom left. The unresolved washes at the top left appear somewhat arbitrary, or were perhaps affected by the 1928 Tate Gallery flood. John Gage has listed this sheet among a handful of identified examples of Turner’s use of a relatively recent artificial compound pigment, emerald green, here mixed transparently with Prussian blue and yellow; see also a view of the Grand Canal near the Hotel Europa in the contemporary Grand Canal and Giudecca sketchbook (Tate D32121; Turner Bequest CCCXV 5).1
This is one of numerous 1840 Venice works Ian Warrell has noted as on sheets of ‘white paper produced [under the name] Charles Ansell,2 each measuring around 24 x 30 cm, several watermarked with the date “1828”’:3 Tate D32138–D32139, D32141–D32143, D32145–D32147, D32154–D32163, D32167–D32168, D32170–D32177, D35980, D36190 (Turner Bequest CCCXVI 1, 2, 4–6, 8–10, 17–26, 30, 31, 33–40, CCCLXIV 137, 332). Warrell has also observed that The Doge’s Palace and Piazzetta, Venice (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin)4 and Venice: The New Moon (currently untraced)5 ‘may belong to this group’.6
1
See Gage 1969, pp.19, 226 note 12.
2
Albeit Peter Bower, Turner’s Later Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection and Use of his Drawing Papers 1820–1851, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.81, notes that the Muggeridge family had taken over after 1820, still using the ‘C Ansell’ watermark.
3
‘Appendix: The papers used for Turner’s Venetian Watercolours’ (1840, section 2) in Warrell 2003, p.259.
4
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.463 no.1356, reproduced.
5
Ibid., p.464 no.1365.
6
Warrell 2003, p.259.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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