Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, from the Bacino

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
D31797
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 4

Catalogue entry

This two-part horizontal view is effectively a continuation of that north from the Bacino up the Piazzetta on folio 3 verso opposite (D31796). Here the south-western corner of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) is seen on the left, with the whole waterfront façade dominating the upper view, with the New Prisons to the right. Below, looking north-east, is a rather compressed continuation along the Riva degli Schiavoni, including the Hotel Danieli (the Palazzo Dandolo; see the verso, D31798), as far as the church of the Pietà, with the thermal clerestory window on its west front lightly but clearly indicated; compare the slighter drawing on folio 19 recto (D31827), where the church may be seen from a similar angle, and there is a separate elevation of its façade..
Turner has numbered various aspects of the palace’s articulation: seventeen finials to the left of the central feature around the balcony; thirty-three complete quatrefoil openings (and a half at each end) in the spandrels of the thirty-four first-floor arches; and twelve open ground floor arches along the Molo, five more being then blocked at the right-hand end. As Ian Warrell has noted, this ‘inspection did not result in a better understanding of the asymmetrical placing of the two easterly windows, which are older and sit lower than those on their left.’1
Compare the 1840 watercolour of the whole view, crowded with boats in the foreground (Tate D32154; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 17).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Warrell 2003, p.119.

Read full Catalogue entry

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