Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, Venice, with the Rialto Bridge in the Distance; Veste Coburg from the East


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 4

Catalogue entry

Finberg was slightly tentative in his identification of the Grand Canal view1 Turner made with the page turned horizontally, but the detail is clear enough to locate its viewpoint as off the Palazzo Pisani Moretta, at the far left, and the adjoining Palazzo Barbarigo della Terrazza, with the campanile of San Polo above to the north. The Ca’ Capello-Layard is next, beyond the Rio di San Polo at the beginning of the sequence leading east-north-east to the Rialto Bridge, punctuated by the twin obelisks of the Palazzo Papadopoli. The foreground of the opposite side is continued above to the right, although the detail is looser here; unusually, the façade in the continuation is smudged to suggest shadow. There is a view in the opposite direction from a little further west on the verso (D31284).
As noted in the sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey. Cecilia Powell has identified the second subject, at the gutter and filling a substantial part of the sky over the Grand Canal, as a study of the Veste Coburg fortress, on the north-east side of Coburg, seen from below its eastern end.2
For the numerous Coburg views in this sketchbook, see under folio 1 verso (D31278).3

Matthew Imms
September 2018

See Finberg 1930, p.172.
See Powell 1995, p.242.
See also ibid., pp.72, 82 notes 63 and 64.

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