Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bacino, Venice, from off the Isola di San Giorgio, with Santa Maria della Salute at Sunset, the Campanile and Basilica of San Marco (St Mark’s) and the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 16 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Views from the Canal’): ‘2 sketches. (1) Salute & Dogana from Citella. (2) Library, Campe, St. Marks, D’s Pal, &c.’1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy: ‘di S. Marco and Giudecca’.2
With the page turned horizontally, the upper view is from west of the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, shows the domes of the church of Santa Maria della Salute across the Bacino and the sun setting to its left, on the side fronting the Canale della Giudecca. To the right of the church are the porch of the Dogana to its east, and the campanile of San Moisè, north of the Grand Canal. There is a similar view on the recto (D31821).
Below is a view from about the same point, turning north to the waterfront along the Molo, with the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) at the centre above the Zecca (the Mint), and the domes of the Basilica and the south front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) to the right. Turner’s confident inscription to the left is effectively illegible.
The views towards the Isola della Giudecca on folio 17 recto opposite (D31823) are from about the same point. This is one of a several studies in this book (see also folios 22 recto and verso, 25 verso, 29 recto, 32 recto and 41 verso; D31833–D31834, D31839, D31846, D31852, D31871) noted by Ian Warrell as showing the sun setting from the vicinity of San Giorgio Maggiore in connection with an anecdote by the watercolourist William Callow (1812–1908), who recalled relaxing in a gondola and seeing Turner still busy working at that late hour, sketching the church from another boat.3

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.1010.
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1010.
See Warrell 2003, pp.197, 264 notes 5 and 6.

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