Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Rialto Bridge and Palazzi Including the Bembo and Dolfin Manin


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 75

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the drawing continues on folio 74 verso opposite (D14457; Turner Bequest CLXXV 74a). Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry, where he had described D14457 as page ‘74. The Coal Market. Exhibited drawings, No.602k, N.G.’, bracketing it as ‘74a’ and ‘75’ (the current page), and noting of the latter: ‘(Contn). on left, part of Riva del Vin, with Rialto beyond. Exh. Dg. 602l’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy: ‘Riva del Vin’.2 For the confusion over the sequence of folio 74’s recto and verso, see under D14457.
The overall view is north-east along the Grand Canal to the Rialto Bridge; the other page shows the south side of the canal as far as the Palazzo Bembo on the Riva del Carbon, Turner’s viewpoint being just to its west. Beyond the bridge on this page is the Fondaco dei Tedeschi to its right, and the southern corner of the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi (with its arched windows) to its left.
On the near side are buildings along the Riva del Vin, the general character of which appears little changed, although the tallest building has lost its prominent canal-front chimney, and the low buildings to its left have been rebuilt or replaced by a single façade. The square archway on the left survives as the entrance to the Calle del Sturion. Finberg noted these ‘disreputable-looking buildings’ which were ‘drawn with as much care as if they were thirteenth century palaces. The tall ugly house with the big chimney running up its front ... becomes quite a picturesque feature in combination with the tall masts of a ship moored in front of it.’3
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 C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.515.
Finberg 1930, pp.46, 49.
Technical notes:
Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry for this page as ‘do’, i.e. ditto, referring to a preceding note, ‘stained by flood | 13/8/29’,1 following inspection after the Tate Gallery flood of January 1928.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

MS note by Finberg in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.515.

Read full Catalogue entry

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