Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Bridge of Sighs and New Prisons; the Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo), with Moored Sailing Boats; Studies of Boats; ?the Porch of the Dogana with the Redentore Beyond


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 89 × 149 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXX 85 a

Catalogue entry

Folios 82 verso–87 recto (D32424–D32433), all drawn with the pages turned horizontally, form a brief sequence of views around the Bacino. Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry referring only to ‘Shipping’: ‘Po. Dandolo now Hotel Danieli’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell similarly marked another copy.2
At the top left are the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and New Prisons, connected by the high-level Bridge of Sighs over the Rio del Palazzo, with the Ponte della Paglia in the foreground linking the Molo with the Riva degli Schiavoni on the Bacino waterfront. Compare two slight contemporary pencil studies on buff-grey paper (Tate D32196–D32197; Turner Bequest CCCXVII 14a, b), under which related views are noted. The setting recalls the central elements of the oil painting Venice, the Bridge of Sighs, exhibited at the Royal Academy earlier in 1840 (Tate N00527).3
To the right, in approximately the right juxtaposition but drawn on a larger scale, is the Gothic façade of the Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo), part of which is also shown in the painting. There are moored boats at the centre, and separate studies of others below. That towards the bottom right seems to have been made from the mouth of the Grand Canal, some way to the west of the upper views, as it is apparently framed by the dome of the church of the Redentore on the Isola della Giudecca in the distance, south-west of the porch of the Dogana, overlooking the Bacino at the entrance to the canal on the right.
The Redentore also appears as a detail on 86 recto opposite (D32431).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.1033.
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1033.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.235 no.383, pl.386 (colour).

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