Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), Venice, with the Torre dell’Orologio (Clock Tower), Campanile and Basilica, and Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 2

Catalogue entry

With the page turned horizontally, the view is from near the south-west corner of the Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), looking east-north-east. The Torre dell’Orologio (clock tower) is on the left, with the prominent flagpoles in front of the Basilica towards the centre, with the diaper-patterned west front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) between the campanile and the Procuratie Nuove, receding sharply on the right. Compare the more detailed study in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14397; Turner Bequest CLXXV 44).
Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Campanile and St. Mark’s’): ‘scaffolding on cuspida’;1 the Turner scholar C.F. Bell similarly noted: ‘scaffolding on cuspide’.2 The presence of scaffolding around the spire is a recurring factor in dating the Venice views from the 1840 visit (see the Introduction to the tour).

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.1009.
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1009.

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