Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Piazzetta, Venice, with the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Columns and Libreria Sansoviniana, and San Giorgio Maggiore across the Bacino


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 79 a

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. Here, the view is south-south-east, flanked by the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) on the left and the Libreria Sansoviniana on the right, with the two columns on the Molo waterfront framing the view across the Bacino to the campanile and dome of San Giorgio Maggiore on the island of the same name.
Compare a more detailed pencil study in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (D14402; Turner Bequest CLXXV 46a) from a similar viewpoint (albeit omitting the library), again showing the church between the columns, which are of similar heights but rendered unequal in both drawings by the oblique perspective.
The view on folio 80 recto opposite (D32419) is from a similar position, but focusses of the right-hand half of the scene. See also the disjointed panorama in the opposite direction, towards the Piazza (St Mark’s Square), on folios 80 verso–81 recto (D32420–D32421).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Read full Catalogue entry

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