Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, by Moonlight, near the Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo), with the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) Beyond

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 219 × 286 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D32225
Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 6

Catalogue entry

Although this loose, near monochrome study clearly shows a waterfront scene with what may be figures and boats in the foreground, by a slight aberration Finberg called it ‘The Piazza, St Mark’s’.1 The prospect appears to be westwards from the Bacino off the start of the Riva degli Schiavoni, with suggestions of the Ponte del Vin and the adjacent Hotel Danieli (the Palazzo Dandolo) on the right, the silhouetted form of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) blocked in beyond towards the left, and the campanile of San Marco rising towards a slender, newly waxing moon, like one that appears in a contemporary colour study along the Grand Canal (Tate D32230; Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 11). During Turner’s 20 August–3 September 1840 stay in Venice this phase coincided with the second week, between the new moon on 27 August and its first quarter on the day he left.2
Much the same view is shown in a rough contemporary pencil and chalk drawing on buff-grey paper (D32198; CCCXVII 14c). The scene and its vicinity were long familiar; see for example a pencil study in the 1819 Venice to Ancona sketchbook (Tate D14494; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 4).
Compare D32225 (CCCXVIII 16), another waterfront scene on similar paper.
1
Finberg 1909, II, p.1026; see the similar title in Finberg 1930, p.176.
2
See ‘Moon Phases for Venice, Italy’, timeanddate.com, accessed 6 September 2018, https://www.timeanddate.com/moon/phases/italy/venice?year=1840.
Technical notes:
Ian Warrell has noted this and one other work (Tate D32232; Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 13) as being on ‘Greyish paper of the same type, but from a different source’,1 as Tate D32192–D32199 (Turner Bequest CCCXVII 13a–d, 14a–d).
1
‘Appendix: The papers used for Turner’s Venetian Watercolours’ (1840, section 6) in Warrell 2003, p.259.
Verso:
Blank; inscribed by Turner in ink ‘3’ bottom right, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘S’ below centre; inscribed in pencil ‘39’ above centre, ascending vertically; stamped in black with Turner Bequest monogram over ‘CCCXVIII – 6’ bottom left; inscribed in pencil ‘D32225’ and ‘CCCXVIII [...]’ towards bottom right. For the various ink numbers inscribed by the artist on similar sheets, see the Introduction to the tour.

Matthew Imms
July 2018

Read full Catalogue entry

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