Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping in the Canale di San Marco, Venice, off the Ponte della Veneta Marina, with San Giorgio Maggiore, Santa Maria della Salute and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) in the Distance

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31809
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 10

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Shipping off the Molo’), transcribing Turner’s inscription as given here identifying the separate study of the bridge at the top.1 The Ponte della Veneta Marina is much further east than Finberg’s title might suggest, spanning the entrance to the Rio della Tana south of the Arsenale. It is seen again in a view eastwards on folio 23 recto (D31835).
The main view, made with the page turned horizontally, is from the Canale di San Marco about level with the bridge, taking in the church of San Giorgio Maggiore on its island to the south-west, the domes of Santa Maria della Salute in the distance across the Bacino to the left of the silhouetted moored ship(s), and the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) to the right of centre beyond the sweep of the Riva degli Schiavoni.
Compare the vista in the 1840 watercolours Tate D32159 and D32167 (Turner Bequest CCCXVI 22, 30); the latter has been linked with the same bridge, although this is perhaps debatable given its lack of precise foreground detail. Tate D32235 (Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 16), a loose gouache and watercolour study on grey paper, appears to be inscribed ‘Marina’, and may show a similar aspect. A note, perhaps of an appointment, in the contemporary Rotterdam to Venice sketchbook (Tate D32431; Turner Bequest CCCXX 86) seems to refer to the bridge or its neighbourhood.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1009.

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