Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Porch of Santa Maria Salute, Venice, and the Entrance to the Grand Canal, with the Dogana and Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) Beyond


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 112 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXV 67 a

Catalogue entry

The drawing is inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation. Finberg subsequently annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Looking from the Grand Canal, with the Salute on the right’): ‘From steps of Salute, looking twds Campanile’.1 In another copy he wrote: ‘Dogana. Porch Salute’.2 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated a further copy: ‘the Campanile above the Palaces & Hotels to l’.3 Bell similarly annotated Finberg’s entry in his 1930 In Venice with Turner.4
The view is eastwards towards the entrance to the Grand Canal and the Bacino beyond, with the north porch of the church of Santa Maria della Salute on the right, the Dogana beyond on that side, and the campanile of St Mark’s to the east-north-east above the roofs on the left. The viewpoint is a little west of the church, perhaps off the Palazzo Genovese on the south side. The height and slenderness of the campanile seems exaggerated, as to an even greater degree in the later painting Venice, from the Porch of the Madonna della Salute, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1835 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York),5 for which this drawing served as a source,6 although the American art historian Barbara Reise pointed out the shifts in viewpoint embodied in the painting, amounting to taking ‘some liberties’, as Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll put it,7 to give a more spacious effect.
Andrew Wilton8 has noted the fortuitous similarity of the view in an 1840 watercolour, Venice: The Grand Canal, Looking towards the Dogana (British Museum, London).9 Lindsay Stainton has described the setting as a ‘favourite spot’, comparing additionally a watercolour on grey paper, perhaps of 1840 (Tate D32208; Turner Bequest CCCXVII 23).10 For other drawings made in the vicinity and an overview of Turner’s coverage of Venice, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Undated MS note by A.J. Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, opposite p.514.
Undated MS note by Finberg in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.514.
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.514.
Undated MS note by Bell (before 1936) in copy of Finberg 1930, Prints and Drawings Study Room, British Museum, London, p.165, as transcribed by Ian Warrell (undated notes, Tate catalogue files).
Butlin and Joll 1984, pp.212–13 no.362, pl.367 (colour).
Ibid., p.213; see also George 1984, p.20 note 4, and Wilton 2001, p.326.
Butlin and Joll 1984, p.213; see also Joll 1983, pp.130–1.
Wilton 1975, p.149; see also Butlin and Joll 1984, p.213.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.462 no.1359, reproduced.
Stainton 1985, p.61.

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