Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Piazzetta, Venice, with the Libreria Sansoviniana, Campanile and Basilica of San Marco (St Mark’s), and the Piazza Beyond, from within the Arcade of the 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: 89 × 149 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXX 82

Catalogue entry

Along with folio 77 verso (D32414), folios 79 verso–82 verso (D32418–D32424) show various aspects of the Piazzetta, all made with the pages turned horizontally. Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Doge’s Palace, &c.’), crossing it out in favour of ‘Campanile, Log[g]etta, & part of St Marks’.1 By now the subject was very familiar to Turner, and here and on folio 81 verso opposite (D32422) he introduces a variation by placing his viewpoint within the open ground-floor arcade of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), albeit this framing device is much less conspicuous here than in the other view, hence Finberg’s amendment.
To the west across the Piazzetta on the left are the northern end of the Libreria Sansoviniana and the lower stages of the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) with the Loggetta at its foot. Beyond to the northwest lies the Piazza (St Mark’s Square), with the roofline of the Procuratie Vecchie to the left of four small windows at the centre, flanking the Torre dell’Orologio (clock tower), albeit the latter is obscured from this angle by the south-western corner of the Basilica in the middle distance on the right.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1032; see also Finberg 1930, p.170.

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