Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, Looking towards the Rialto Bend from near the Palazzo Fontana Rezzonico; the Façade of the Ca’ d’Oro

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31303
Turner Bequest CCCX 14

Catalogue entry

The view is south-east along the Grand Canal from about level with the Ca’ Corner della Regina, with the Palazzo Fontana Rezzonico seen obliquely in the left foreground. The largely blank façade with a shallow roof on the other side of the canal beyond is the northern end of the Fabbriche Nuove, now partly eclipsed by the later Pescaria building on its near side. To the left are the campanile of Bartolomeo (near the Rialto Bridge) and, to its right, the more distant campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), with the horizontal indications of scaffolding around its spire commonly seen in Turner’s 1840 views; see the tour Introduction. Coming forwards again, the last tower is that of San Giovanni Elemosinaro.
This is one of a short sequence of sketches made while travelling south-east along the canal between the Canale di Cannaregio and the Rialto Bridge (folios 12 verso–15 recto; D31300–D31305). There is a similar view in pencil in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14461; Turner Bequest CLXXV 76a), and a loose watercolour study of much the same prospect in the 1840 Grand Canal and Giudecca sketchbook (Tate D32178; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 41).1
Below to the left is a separate thumbnail elevation of the celebrated asymmetrical Gothic façade of the Ca’ d’Oro, with its complex tracery and spiral barley-sugar corner columns, also carried a little over the gutter to folio 13 verso opposite (D31302); the palace is roughly indicated in the main view a little beyond the Fontana Rezzonico, and perhaps in another Grand Canal and Giudecca colour study, looking in the opposite direction (Tate D32132; Turner Bequest CCCXV 16). Compare also the less detailed thumbnail detail supplementing a similar overall view in the contemporary Venice and Botzen book (Tate D31859; Turner Bequest CCCXIII 35a)
As noted in the sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
These and other views in the vicinity noted in Warrell 2003, pp.150, 264 note 7.

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