Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping Moored ?off the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore or the Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 246 × 305 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXVI 31

Display caption

Turner’s watercolours of Venetian exteriors are dominated by the interplay of brilliant golds, yellows, blues and turquoise. Architecture tends to be lightly traced in pencil or ink, dissolving into mist, reflections and radiant light. They revel in the ‘indistinctness’ for which he was being attacked in public, and assert the artist’s right to interpret the world in personal and poetic terms.

This watercolour may represent the scene behind Palladio’s church of S Giorgio Maggiore, which Turner painted repeatedly on his visit.

Gallery label, September 2004

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