Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Pescaria, and the Fondaco dei Tedeschi 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 76 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation. The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘The Fish Market’): ‘Palazzo dei Camerlenghi Fondaco dei Tedeschi’.1
The view is south-east along the Grand Canal, with the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in the distance, on the bend leading immediately to the Rialto Bridge. In the foreground on the right is the Campo della Pescaria, or ‘Fish Market’ as Turner notes, where the early twentieth-century Pescaria building now stands on the waterfront. To the left of centre is the northern end of the Fabbriche Nuove. Above the roofs on the right, on the near side of the Rialto, is the campanile of San Giovanni Elemosinario with its open arch; on its far side is the campanile of San Bartolomeo with its dome, and between them, about twice as far away to the south-south-east, is the spire of the campanile of San Marco. In the immediate foreground on the left is the Baroque façade of the Palazzo Fontana Rezzoni, which is continued briefly on folio 77 recto opposite (D14462).
The view evidently appealed to Turner, and Ian Warrell has noted this drawing in connection with an 1840 watercolour (Tate D32178; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 41) showing much the same view, as well as pencil drawings in the 1833 Venice sketchbook (Tate D32041, D32072; Turner Bequest CCCXIV 59, 77a) from further off in the same direction, one in the same sketchbook from slightly nearer the bend (Tate D32082; Turner Bequest CCCXIV 82a),2 and a looser pencil study in the 1840 Venice; Passau to Würzburg sketchbook (Tate D31303; Turner Bequest CCCX 14).
Folios 83 verso–84 recto (D14475–D14476) show a similar view from further south, with the Rialto Bridge brought into view. For other drawings made in the vicinity and an overview of Turner’s coverage of Venice, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.515.
See Warrell 2003, pp.150, 264 note 7.

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