Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), Venice, ?with the Bacino Waterfront

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 × 173 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31911
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 61 a

Catalogue entry

This loose drawing was made with the page turned horizontally. Finberg later annotated his basic 1909 Inventory entry (‘Buildings from canal’): ‘Campanile etc.’1 The tower in the distance is indeed the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), with indications of the temporary scaffolding platforms which feature in many views from this tour; see the overall Introduction. The viewpoint is uncertain, but seems to be off the north side of the entrance to the Grand Canal, where it meets the Bacino, as seen more readily on adjacent pages including the recto (D31910). The plain building on the left may be the one now housing Harry’s Bar, with the arches of the Capitaneria di Porto (built as the Fonteghetto della Farina warehouse) at the centre. It is not clear whether the right-hand side shows part of the waterfront or a vessel of some kind.
The view of the Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute on folio 62 recto opposite was perhaps made from about the same point, looking in the opposite direction. As discussed under folio 60 verso (D31909), many of the Venice drawings between there and folio 69 recto (D31926) are in a conspicuously rough mode, sometimes with identifiable landmarks but often seemingly rushed to the point of incoherence, perhaps either on account of stormy weather (see under folio 60 recto; D31908) or failing light.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1011.

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