Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bacino, Venice, with the Waterfront East of San Marco (St Mark’s), and San Giorgio Maggiore; the Corner of the Basilica in the Courtyard of 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 17 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his two-part 1909 Inventory entry (‘Views from the canal’ and ‘Renaissance entry to courtyard (?)’): ‘2 sk[etches]. 1 of S. Giorgio with shipping | Entrance to courtyard, Doge’s Palace’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy: ‘Porta della Carta’.2
Most of the page, turned horizontally, is taken up with a two-part panorama from off the Fondamenta San Giovanni east of the Zitelle church on the Isola della Giudecca.
At the top, the prospect is north across the Bacino to the Molo waterfront, with the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) on the left. From left to right follow the domes of the Basilica beyond the Piazzetta, the Molo front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), the distant dome of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the dome of San Zaccaria to the right of its squat campanile, the taller tower and dome of San Giorgio dei Greci, the unfinished Riva degli Schiavoni façade of the Pietà, the tower of Sant’Antonin and the more distant but loftier steeple of San Francesco della Vigna, and the lower campanile of San Martino, just east of the Arsenale.
The structure terminating the upper view is the lighthouse at the northern tip of the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, in the middle distance in relation to the rest of the skyline. Below, on the same scale, the lighthouse is seen again (without its lantern) on the left of the view of the church and monastery of the same name, seen to the north-east.
At the bottom left is a continuation from folio 18 recto opposite (D31825) of the view within the courtyard of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), showing the upper stages of the elaborate south-eastern corner of the Basilica.

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.

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