Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and Rialto Bridge in the Distance


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 84

Catalogue entry

The foreground of this drawing is continued part of the way across folio 83 verso opposite (D14475), which establishes the viewpoint as outside the Palazzo Michiel del Brusà on the east side of the Grand Canal. The view is south to the Rialto Bridge, partly obscured by the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, with the Fondaco dei Tedeschi to its left. In the foreground on the right are the arches of the Fabbriche Nuove at the north-west end of the Campo Erberia.
Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘View on the Grand Canal; S. Bartolomeo and the Campanile (with scaffolding on top) in distance, also “Entrance to the G. Canal” and “Sa. Lucia”.’), bracketing ‘83a’ with ‘84’, with the latter as: ‘View of Rialto with P. Camerlenghi & old & new bldgs. of Erberia on right, with Fondaco de’ Tedeschi, P. Civran & Corte Remera on left, with Campanile & S. Bartolomeo beyond’.1 In another copy he wrote: ‘from Erberia’ and ‘also Sacca della [...] lkg twds Mestre’.2 Regarding the present page, Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy: ‘Fondaco dei Tedeschi, Rialto, Camerlenghi & Erberia’.3
Above the bridge is the campanile of San Bartolomeo with its dome, while above the Fondaco rises the spire of the campanile of San Marco, considerably further to the south-south-east; as Finberg observed, ‘the scaffolding around its summit is more in evidence than in the drawing made in the Piazza’4 on folio 44 recto (D14397).
Compare the view on folio 76 verso (D14461), looking in the same direction from further north-west. For other drawings made in the vicinity and an overview of Turner’s coverage of Venice, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.
Undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, opposite p.515.
Undated MS note by Finberg in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.515.
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.515.
Finberg 1930, p.49.
Technical notes:
A small patch of what may be ochre pigment at the outside edge is offset between this page and folio 83 verso opposite (D14475).

Matthew Imms
March 2017

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