Drawn with the page turned horizontally, the view is dominated by the familiar bulk of the Baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute on the left, seen to the south-west across the Grand Canal, flanked by part of the Seminario Patriarcale on the left, and the apsidal east end of the former church of San Gregorio at the centre. In the distance to the right is the dome of the Gesuati (Santa Maria del Rosario), now obscured by the late nineteenth-century Palazzo Genovese.
The viewpoint is apparently a front balcony of the Hotel Europa (the Palazzo Giustinian), where Turner stayed on his 1840 Venice visit; compare the more fragmentary views of the Salute and the buildings to its right and left in the contemporary Venice and Botzen sketchbook (Tate D31830; Turner Bequest CCCXIII 20a), inscribed ‘Balcony of the Europa’. See also the more detailed pencil study in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14417; Turner Bequest CLXXV 54), under which further drawings are noted, and the parallel subsection of works the present tour comprising views in various directions from the hotel.1
The present subject is isolated from the main run of Venice views filling the latter part of this sketchbook, from folio 76 verso onwards (D32412), although folio 22 recto (D32303) is likely a less imposing Venice subject. Turner’s thrifty instinct may have been to use up the few blank pages falling within the extended sequence of mountain views on his outward route between folios 7 recto and 76 recto (D32275–D32411), likely making this among the first drawings of the city upon his arrival, albeit folios 18 and 19 (D32297–D32298) which follow it remain blank on both sides.
The disjointed panorama to the west, south-west and south on folios 86 verso and 87 recto (D32432–D32433) was likely observed from much the same viewpoint.
See also Warrell 2003, pp.171, 264 note 26.
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