Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Dogana, Venice, with the Entrance to the Grand Canal and Santa Maria della Salute Beyond; a Detail with a Heraldic Shield


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 x 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXV 65 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Dogana di Mare and S. Maria della Salute’): ‘“Stones red”’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated another copy: ‘Entrance to the Grand Canal with the Dogana Salute & Palazzi | arms to r’.2
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the drawing is continued briefly on folio 66 recto opposite (D14441). The view is west from the Bacino, close to the Dogana, with its porch of the nearly eclipsing the much larger domes of Santa Maria della Salute from this angle. To their right are palaces on the north side of the Grand Canal, the furthest and most prominent, with its pitched roof, being the Palazzo (or Ca’) Corner della Ca’ Grande (or Granda), now the seat of the Prefect of Venice.
Finberg used this view as a ‘good example’ of Turner’s ‘habit of elision’, with the east front of the Dogana’s porch shown in less detail than on folio 64 verso (D14438) and the Salute lightly outlined, having been carefully studied on folio 54 verso (D14417). They are ‘mainly taken for granted, but the buildings on the right side of the canal, especially the Palazzo Corner della Cà Grande, and the distant Academy on the left side, are more fully determined, because they had not been drawn before’.3
Having initially read Turner’s upper inscription as ‘Stones red’, as noted above, Finberg realised that what actually says ‘“Horses Head” ... refers to the carving on the corbels supporting the parapet of the Dogana tower’.4
There is a small separate sketch at the bottom centre showing a heraldic shield, with colour notes; its significance in relation to the buildings shown has yet to be established. For other drawings made in the vicinity and an overview of Turner’s coverage of Venice, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.514.
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.514.
Finberg 1930, p.41.

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