Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grand Canal, with the Rialto Bridge Flanked by the Fondaco dei Tedeschi and the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, Venice


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 82 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the drawing continues half-way across folio 83 recto opposite (D14474). The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘View on the Grand Canal, with the Ponte di Rialto; the dome of S. Bartolomeo in distance’), crossing out the second half of the title and writing: ‘the Camerlenghi & Fondaco dei Tedeschi’.1 On this page the view is south to the Rialto Bridge, with the nearby campanile of San Bartolomeo above (despite Bell’s annotation), along with a slight reprise of its onion dome. On the right is the Palazzo dei Camerlenghi, and the southern end of the arcaded Fabbriche Vecchie overlooking the Erberia. The other page includes the Fondaco dei Tedeschi in the foreground. Finberg compared the view with an engraving after Canaletto’s painting Venice: The Rialto Bridge from the North of about 1726–7 (Royal Collection, Hampton Court), showing ‘nearly the same view’.2
Ian Warrell has noted this page and folio 77 verso (D14463) as sources for the nocturnal vignette watercolour Venice (The Rialto – Moonlight) of about 1830–2 (Tate D27713; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 196;3 see also D27625; CCLXXX 108),4 engraved for Samuel Rogers’s Poems of 1834 (Tate impression: T06645). Of the two sketches in this book, the alignment of buildings is closer here (from slightly further north), although the other page shows the bridge in more detail.
Compare also a watercolour study in the 1840 Grand Canal and Giudecca sketchbook (Tate D32119; Turner Bequest CCCXV 3) and a watercolour of the same year (National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh).5 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.
Finberg 1930, p.49.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.442 no.1190, reproduced.
See Warrell 2003, p.263 note 43.
Wilton 1979, p.464 no.1396, reproduced; see also Andrews 1980, pp.32–3.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like

In the shop