Finberg’s 1909 Inventory described the subject as ‘The Salute’, to which the Turner scholar C.F. Bell added: ‘nondescript’.1 The subject is indeed vaguely defined, but focuses on the bright Baroque main dome of the church of Santa Maria della Salute. The pale brown upright form partly eclipsing it may be the porch of the Dogana on its near side, making this a westward prospect with the Grand Canal receding to the right, and the Canale della Giudecca and its island away to the left. Compare for instance a loosely worked contemporary study on white paper (Tate D32174; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 37), likely from a viewpoint a little to the north.
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1023.
Ian Warrell has compared the treatment of the present subject with those of two more developed grey paper Bacino scenes (D32184, D32201; CCCXVII 5, 16), which ‘combine the economy of Turner’s graphic shorthand with broadly applied pastel washes’.1 Their details were applied in pencil and perhaps red chalk or crayon over localised areas of relatively unmodulated colour, and the present sheet could have been taken forward in the same way.
This is one of numerous 1840 Venice works Warrell has noted as being on ‘Bally, Ellen and Steart grey paper’ which Turner had also used on his Continental tour of 1833, including Venice, and therefore ‘the dating of some of these sheets in uncertain’ (see in particular Tate D32205–D32210; Turner Bequest CCCXVII 20–25); the following ‘seem to arise from the later visit’:2 Tate D32180–D32181, D32183–D32184, D32200–D32201, D32203–D32204, D32212, D32215, D32217 (Turner Bequest CCCXVII 1, 2, 4, 5, 15, 16, 18, 19, 27–30, 32);3 see also Venice: San Giorgio Maggiore and the Zitelle from the Giudecca (currently untraced)4 and The Doge’s Palace from the Bacino (private collection),5 and two further ‘half-size sheets’:6 Tate D33883 (Turner Bequest CCCXLI 183), and Shipping with Buildings, ?Venice (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge).7
Warrell 2003, pp.215, 264 note 17.
‘Appendix: The papers used for Turner’s Venetian Watercolours’ (1840, section 8), ibid., p.259.
See also Powell 1995, p.169 for some of these, and similar sheets used for contemporary Germany subjects.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.464 no.1367, reproduced.
Not in ibid.; Warrell 2003, fig.233 (colour).
Warrell 2003, p.259.
Wilton 1979, p.423 no.1037, reproduced.
Blank; closed mount.