Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and Bridge of Sighs, Venice, from the Rio del Palazzo; the Palace and the Ponte della Canonica

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 126 × 198 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31310
Turner Bequest CCCX 18

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the view towards a low bridge shows the Rio del Palazzo, looking north from north of the Bridge of Sighs, with the heavy articulation and rustication of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) loosely rendered on the left and the Ponte della Canonica beyond.
With the page inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, and at right angles to the other drawing, the view is south from about the same point, this time with the palace on the right and the elevated Bridge of Sighs1 linking it to the New Prisons on the left. There is a similar view in the contemporary Rotterdam to Venice sketchbook (Tate D32439; Turner Bequest CCCXX 90). Compare also the view from further away in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14388; Turner Be quest CLXXV 39a).
For the Bridge of Sighs, see also see also folios 15 verso (where other views are noted), 16 recto, 17 recto and 57 recto (D31306–D31307, D31309, D31388). As noted in the sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey. This is the last of the main sequence of Venetian subjects here.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
See Finberg 1930, p.172.

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