Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Rialto Bridge beyond Palazzi Including the Grimani and Papadopoli


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 74

Catalogue entry

Turner’s viewpoint was about level with the Calle Traghetto Vecchio on the south side of the Grand Canal, looking north-east to the Rialto Bridge, shown towards the left in the full-page part of the panorama on folio 73 recto (D14455) of which this is an extension. In the middle of the section extending two thirds of the way across the current page is the Palazzo Papadopoli, with its twin obelisk finials, half obscured by a sail on the north side of the canal, with the lower Palazzo Giustiniani Businello beyond. There is now a garden where small buildings are shown on the near side of the Papadopoli, while the view fades out at the left with one bay of the Palazzo Donà della Trezza.1 At the top left are slight, annotated thumbnail sketches of Gothic and classical details of façades; not immediately identifiable, they were presumably made in the vicinity.
When this leaf was rebound and stamped after being displayed in the nineteenth century, Finberg’s 1909 Inventory sequence, clear from his descriptive title for the recto and uninformative note ‘Drawing on reverse’ for the verso, was disrupted. The present page was, by the implication of its ‘a’ suffix in his Inventory, the verso in his estimation, but it has since been bound as the recto and stamped as ‘74’. What is now the verso (D14457) was evidently, by its subject and more light-affected condition, the exhibited side. For a discussion of the twelve leaves removed and restored in this way, see the technical notes in the sketchbook’s Introduction.
Finberg subsequently made a separate note against his 1909 Inventory entry, bracketing ‘reverse [sic] of 73’ with the present page, now numbering it ‘74’ and describing it as ‘P. Tiepolo (now Papadopoli) with P. Businello. Part of V. from To S. Benedetto. cf. Farnley Hall w. cr’.2 The drawing should be continuous with D14455 (noted at the start of this entry), but the latter is now misbound as folio 73 recto, rather than inverted on the verso to match up with the present part of the view. Finberg reproduced them as a composite image in his 1930 book In Venice with Turner, where he listed them as ‘p. 73, 74’;3 in the plate they are untitled as such, but reproduced above the composition derived from them, captioned: ‘The Rialto, 1820. Water-colour in the collection of Major F.H. Fawkes. With the pencil sketch from nature’.4
See Finberg 1930, p.46, and Warrell 2003, p.101..
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.
Finberg 1930, p.166.
Ibid., pl.XIII.
Andrew Wilton, The Life and Work of J.M.W. Turner, Fribourg 1979, p.383 no.718, pl.156; see also Krause 1997, p.140.
See also Finberg 1930, p.46, Krause 1997, p.140, and Warrell 2003, pp.101, 263 note 6.
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.219–20 no.368, pl.373 (colour); see also See Wark 1971, pp.125–6, Wark 2001, pp.121, 123, and Warrell 2003, p.74.
Finberg 1930, p.71.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

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

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