Joseph Mallord William Turner

Shipping off the Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, with the Church of Santa Maria della Pietà, and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s ) in the Distance; the Campanile of San Moisè

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 x 173 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31810
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 10 a

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Shipping off the Molo’): ‘Riva degli Schiavoni. Campanile with scaffolding in distance’.1 With the page turned horizontally, the main view is to the west along the waterfront with much shipping moored in the Bacino. In the right foreground is the then unfinished classical façade of the Pietà church; see also folio 19 recto (D31827).
Turner had made a more detailed precise view from the same point in the 1819 Venice to Ancona sketchbook (Tate D14500; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 7). As on the previous occasion, the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) is shown in outline in the distance, this time with schematic bands of scaffolding, as Bell noted (an important aid to dating the 1840 drawings; see the tour’s Introduction).
At the bottom left are the upper levels of the campanile and the pedimented west front of the church of San Moisè, continued from the full-page view on folio 11 recto opposite (D31811).

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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