Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Fondaco dei Turchi; the Palazzo Vendramin Calergi; the Canal towards the Rialto, with the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) in the Distance

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31858
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 35

Catalogue entry

There are three sketches here, made with the page turned horizontally. At the top left is a thumbnail study of part of the façade of the Palazzo Vendramin Calergi, its distinctive round-headed windows subdivided by two smaller arches; Turner has scrawled its name beside it. The detail was likely to supplement the even more summary treatment in the main view below.
The palace stands about half-way along the northern reaches of the Grand Canal. Opposite, on the south side, is the arcades front of the Fondaco dei Turchi, since heavily restored, which Turner appears to have drawn and hastily labelled on the right of the central view, with the Vendramin Calergi shown again schematically to the left of the much compressed view east-south-east along the canal. He had drawn the Fondaco’s ornate but dilapidated façade in detail from about the same point in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14484; Turner Bequest CLXXV 88a).
Below is what seems to be a view from a little to the south-east, past the Ca’ Pesaro (see the verso; D31859), looking in that direction towards the sharp right-hand bend at the Rialto (towards the left of the sketch), with the needle-like campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) on the skyline and the tower of San Giovanni Elemosinario near the Pescaria in the middle distance. Compare a contemporary watercolour study in the Grand Canal and Giudecca sketchbook (Tate D32178; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 41), and the detailed pencil drawing in the 1819 Milan to Venice book (Tate D14461; Turner Bequest CLXXV 76a).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Read full Catalogue entry

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