Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Ca’ Pesaro and Ca’ Vendramin Calergi


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXV 55 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘On the Grand Canal, with palaces of “Pesaro” and Vendramin Calergi’): ‘Mr. H says “Pasana’s” – the [?swell] brothel of Venice’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated another copy: ‘on l’ after ‘“Pesaro”’ and ‘in distance’ after ‘Vendramin Calergi’.2 Ian Warrell has recorded that the etcher and collector John Postle Heseltine (1843–1929), whose occasional suggestions are noted in copies of the Inventory at Tate Britain, had noted ‘Pasanas’ elsewhere,3 so he was likely Finberg’s discreet ‘Mr. H’.
Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the view is west along the Grand Canal from in front of the Palazzo (Ca’) Corner della Regina, only one bay of which is shown on the left; as Ian Warrell observed, Finberg’s 1930 note of the viewpoint as the ‘Traghetto di S. Sofia’4 is ‘too far back’5 to the south-east. The main building to its right is the Ca’ Pesaro, another Baroque Palace, which now houses Venice’s International Gallery of Modern Art. In the distance on the other side, below Turner’s inscription, is the Palazzo or Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, the venue for the Casino. As Finberg noted, in this ‘hurried’ (or at least incomplete) drawing, the Pesaro, ‘which is the principal feature of the drawing, has the two lower storeys of its front left blank’.6
For other drawings made in the vicinity and an overview of Turner’s coverage of Venice, see the sketchbook’s Introduction; for other figure studies, see under folio 18 verso (D14351).

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, opposite 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.
Ian Warrell, undated notes in Tate catalogue files.
Finberg 1930, pp.50, 165.
Ian Warrell, undated notes in Tate catalogue files.
Finberg 1930, p.50.

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