Joseph Mallord William Turner

San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice; Veste Coburg from the Road beside the Hofgarten, and from the North; Coburg from the Approach to Veste Coburg


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 198 × 126 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCX 2 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, Turner first used this page for a slight, schematic view apparently showing the west front of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, with its classical portico, dome and campanile. The subject was so familiar to him by now that drawing it in passing seems almost a reflex action; compare the slight contemporary watercolour study, Tate D32148 (Turner Bequest CCCXVI 11).
As noted in this sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey. Here San Giorgio is surrounded by views of the Veste Coburg fortress in its park north-east of the centre of Coburg. The various aspects have been described by Cecilia Powell:1 at the top, two views east up to the ramparts from the Hofgarten approach (now wooded along the road), with a detail at the top left; above the centre, a view back towards Coburg, with the prominent spire of St Moriz’s Church; towards the bottom left and right, with the page turned horizontally, two profiles of the castle’s skyline from the north, the former with another distant prospect of Coburg.
For numerous other views of the town and Veste Coburg in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 verso (D31278).2
See Powell 1995, p.242.
See also ibid., pp.72, 82 notes 63 and 64.
Technical notes:
The leaf was detached at some point and has been secured at the gutter with Japanese-type conservation paper applied to the recto (D31279).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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