Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Monastery and Church of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice, from the Canale della Grazia, with the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) and Santa Maria della Salute Beyond

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31869
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 40 a

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Distant buildings’): ‘2 sk[etches] on Lagoon – at back of S. Giorgio’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy beside the entries for folios 40 recto–42 recto (D31868–D31872): ‘All views from gondola. The Campanile always scaffolded’.2 The latter observation is important in dating this sketchbook to 1840, as discussed in the tour’s Introduction.
With the page turned horizontally, there are two similar views here, inverted relative to each other. Each shows the prospect north across the Bacino through the Canale della Grazia between the Isola della Giudecca on the left and the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore on the right. Towards the gutter, the view includes the monastery buildings and church of San Giorgio on the right, and the domes of Santa Maria della Salute and the campanile of San Marco beyond the low Giudecca boatyards on the left. The ‘canal Orfano’ mentioned by Finberg in relation to folios 40 recto–44 recto (D31868–D31876)3 runs south of the islands in the more open waters of the Lagoon not far from this viewpoint.
The other way up at the outer edge is a similar view, featuring a thermal window at the southern end of a monastery building running this way from the cloisters which remains in place. Compare the two-part sketch on folio 29 recto (D31846), one of the sketches on folio 41 recto opposite (D31870), and a contemporary watercolour showing the view to St Mark’s though the channel (Tate D32156; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 19).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1011.
2
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1011.
3
Finberg 1930, p.171.

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