after Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Mark’s Place, Venice: Juliet and her Nurse, engraved by George Hollis


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Line engraving on paper
Image: 423 × 564 mm
Purchased 1988

Display caption

This large plate reproduces one of the most important and influential canvases of Turner's later career. Exhibited at the Royal Academy early in 1836, 'Juliet and her Nurse' became the subject of a vicious attack by the Reverend John Eagles in an article published in 'Blackwood's Magazine' later in the year. Eagles wrote that the picture was 'a strange jumble', but one of his chief complaints was that Turner should have chosen to set this scene from 'Romeo and Juliet' in Venice rather than Verona. No doubt Turner's decision to place Shakespeare's famous heroine in Venice was influenced by the romantic atmosphere of the city; in the foreground she is seen musing on her new-found love.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

T05188 St Mark's Place, Venice: Juliet and her Nurse engr. G. Hollis, pub.1842

Line-engraving 423 × 564 (16 5/8 × 22 3/16) on wove paper 660 × 772 (26 × 30 3/8); plate-mark 539 × 652 (21 1/4 × 25 11/16)
Engraved inscriptions: ‘Painted by J M W Turner RA.’ below image b.l., ‘Engrd. by G. Hollis.’ below image b.r., ‘LONDON: PUBLISHED JUNE 23RD. 1842, BY THOS. GRIFFITH, ESQRE. 14 WATERLOO PLACE, FOR J.M.W. TURNER, R.A.’ below image at centre; Turner studio blind stamp b.r. edge of image
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988
Prov: Artist's sale, Christie's 24–7 June 1873; ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Exh: Turner and Byron, Tate Gallery, June–Sept. 1992 (40, repr.)
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.654, first published state; Lindsay Stainton, Turner's Venice, 1985, p.68; Herrmann 1990, pp.229–30, pl.184

Published as a single plate, 1842. Original oil painting: private collection, Argentina (Butlin and Joll 1984, no.365; Stainton 1985, no.97). For further details of the provenance and publication history of this plate see T 05187. The inscriptions on this impression correspond to those given by Rawlinson for the first published state although that is described as being on India rather than plain paper.

Although the title given here is that listed in Rawlinson, it was in fact inscribed on the second published state as ‘St. Marks Place Venice (Moonlight)’. Stainton suggests that Turner, ‘perhaps influenced by criticism of the incongruity [of the setting] ..., dropped the Shakespearean association from the title when the picture was engraved in 1842’. The second state was also inscribed with four lines of poetry adapted from Byron's Childe Harold's Pilgrimage and a dedication to Hugh Munro of Novar, the owner of the painting and one of Turner's most important patrons at this time.

This was the only large plate that George Hollis (1793–1842) executed after Turner although he also engraved two plates after Turner for Hakewill's Picturesque Tour of Italy (see T 05079).

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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