Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Churches of the Scalzi and San Simeone Piccolo; Studies of Boats and Figures


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 85

Catalogue entry

The main view and the studies above it are inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation. In the lower half is a prospect near the north-western entrance to the Grand Canal, looking north-east with the elaborate Baroque porches of the churches of the Scalzi (Santa Maria di Nazareth) and San Simeone Piccolo on the left and right respectively, as labelled by Turner. San Simeone’s smaller south-eastern dome is continued on folio 84 verso opposite (D14477). The Santa Lucia railway terminal now lies left of the viewpoint. The campanile of San Geremia rises beyond the Scalzi.
Turner would depict the large dome of San Simeone Piccolo in an evocative but inaccurate watercolour of 1840 (Tate D32134; Turner Bequest CCCXV 8); Ian Warrell has suggested it was probably ‘executed from memory’ without references to this and other 1819 pencil sketches. 1
For other drawings made in the vicinity and an overview of Turner’s coverage of Venice, see the sketchbook’s Introduction, and for more studies of boats see under folio 37 recto (D14383).
See Warrell 2003, pp.150, 264 note 3.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

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