Joseph Mallord William Turner

Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, Palaces on the Grand Canal and the Campanile of San Vidal, from the Campo della Carità


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXV 69 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the drawing continues across most of folio 70 recto opposite (D14449). Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Looking along the Grand canal towards its entrance, from the front of the Accademia di Belle Arti’), bracketing ‘69a’ and ‘70’ as ‘V. from Traghetto della Carita, lkg. twds Dogana’, and elaborating: ‘69a. Contn. of P. Cavalli & P. Barbaro, & on right [various other identifications crossed out] Pi Mula & Barbarigo | 70. S. Vitale & part of P. Cavalli. “Piazza della Academia” “Molo des Beaux Arts.”1 In another copy he again recorded the two inscriptions.2 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated a further copy: ‘Campo S. Vidal on the left’.3 Bell similarly marked the entry in Finberg’s 1930 In Venice with Turner.4
The view here is east towards the entrance to the Grand Canal with the domes of the church of Santa Maria della Salute at the centre and the porch of the Dogana beyond. The other page continues the subject north-eastwards to the campanile of San Vidal. To the right of the domes are the Palazzo Barbarigo, with its high gable, and the adjoining Palazzo da Mula Morosini. The other buildings are somewhat compressed at this oblique angle, but culminate in the arched windows on the near side of the Palazzo Rota Brandolin (or Brandolini Rota).
This last feature establishes the viewpoint as the south side of the canal, on the Campo della Carità in front of the Gallerie dell’Accademia in the Scuola della Carità, along the ‘quay of the Academy’, as Finberg put it,5 subsequently the site of the Ponte dell’Accademia. Turner hedged his linguistic bets in labelling the spot both ‘Piazza della Accademia’ and ‘Mola des Beaux Arts’. On the other side of the canal are the Palazzo Barbaro and, in the foreground, the Palazzo Cavalli-Franchetti, which is continued opposite.
In addition to the extensive MS notes transcribed above, Finberg marked his interleaved Inventory copy ‘do.’ (ditto), following on from his noting folio 68a (D14446), a view from slightly further east, as ‘St for Leggatts W. Co’, to the effect that the pages were direct studies for a watercolour once in the hands of the London dealers Leggatt Brothers. This is presumably the work known in recent years as The Grand Canal, with the Salute, Venice (private collection),6 which he titled ‘The Salute from the Academy Quay’, and dated to 1820.7 He criticised the supposed result as inaccurate in numerous specifics,8 but he was in fact under a misapprehension: the watercolour, recorded in 1818, predated Turner’s direct experience of Venice and was an unpublished subject for James Hakewill’s Picturesque Tour of Italy (see Nicola Moorby’s overall Introduction to the tour). Its compositional quirks stem from the perfunctory nature of Hakewill’s original 1817 outline drawing, made with an optical device.9

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, opposite p.514.
Undated MS note by Finberg in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.514.
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.514.
Undated MS note by Bell (before 1936) in copy of Finberg 1930, Prints and Drawings Study Room, British Museum, London, p.165, as transcribed by Ian Warrell (undated notes, Tate catalogue files).
Finberg 1930, p.42.
Not in Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979.
Finberg 1930, pl.XII (colour), as R.W. Reford collection; see also pp.159, 165.
Ibid., p.72.
See Ian Warrell in Warrell, David Laven, Jan Morris and others, Turner and Venice, exhibition catalogue, Tate Britain, London 2003, p.50, and figs.32 (Hakewill’s drawing, British School at Rome) and 33 (Turner’s watercolour); se also Cecilia Powell, ‘Turner on Classic Ground: His Visits to Central and Southern Italy and Related Paintings and Drawings’, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London 1984, p.58.

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