Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Fondaco dei Turchi, and the Church of San Geremia in the Distance; Studies of ?Gondoliers


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCX 12 a

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the view is to the west along the northern reach of the Grand Canal, with the dome and campanile of the church of San Geremia (see folio 11 verso; D31298) outlined in the distance. On the left is the unrestored arcade front of the Fondaco dei Turchi, still in the ramshackle state recorded in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14484; Turner Bequest CLXXV 88a).
This is the first 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). The slightly scrambled details in the right foreground may indicate features of the grand Renaissance façade of the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi (the Casino). The palace is seen in the middle distance in another view in the same direction from further east on folio 13 recto opposite (D31301).
At the top left, apparently made with the page inverted relative to the foliation, are what seem to be studies of a figure or figures in stooping or reaching motion, perhaps gondoliers or boatmen.
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

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