Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, with Santa Maria della Pietà, the Ponte del Sepolcro and the Casa Navagero, and the Campanile of San Marco and Santa Maria della Salute Beyond; the Doorway of the Convent of San Sepolcro

1819

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 111 x 184 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D14502
Turner Bequest CLXXVI 8

Catalogue entry

The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘Bridge, with buildings; also a doorway or monument (?) – “Tonde del Schiavoni”, “Thomas Philogus Ravennis, &c”.’): ‘Ponte della Pietà or del Sepolcro. Doorway of San Biagio separate sketch’.1 Bell similarly annotated Finberg’s 1930 In Venice with Turner (‘Bridge, with buildings: also a doorway with inscriptions’): ‘Ponte della Pietà or del Sepolcr. The doorway with inscription is that of San Biagio’.2
The inner two thirds of the page are taken up with a view looking north-west from the Riva degli Schiavoni, in a direct continuation from folios 6 verso–7 recto (D14499–D14500); Turner would have temporarily curved round the outer edge of the latter to meet the gutter here while drawing. On the present page the Ponte del Sepolcro is shown at the entrance to the Rio della Pietà, with the Casa Navagero on the right. The buildings to the left are on the site of the Metropole Hotel.
As noted above, C.F. Bell thought the elaborate doorway in the separate sketch on the right was that of the church of San Biagio, some way along the quays south-east of the main view. However, the carefully rendered details do not match, and the subject appears rather to be the entrance to the former Convent of San Sepolcro, which was suppressed in 1808; the lower half survives, despite the demolition and redevelopment of most of the complex, on the waterfront façade of the Presidio Militare, just to the right of the Casa Navagero.3
Turner’s note below appears to transcribe the first line of a lengthy Latin inscription beginning ‘THOMAS PHILOLOGUS RAVENNAS | RANGONUS PHYSICUS EQ. THOMAS Philologus Ravennas’, now in the museum collection of the Seminario Patriarcale, which is said to have come from above the door.4 Tommaso Rangone (1493–1577), called ‘Philologus’, was a Venetian scholar and patron of the arts.5
For other drawings made in the vicinity, see the sketchbook’s Introduction.
1
Undated MS note by C.F. Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Tate Britain Prints and Drawings Room, I, p.516.
2
Undated MS note by Bell (before 1936) in copy of Finberg 1930, Prints and Drawings Study Room, British Museum, London, p.167, as transcribed by Ian Warrell (undated notes, Tate catalogue files).
3
See Jeff Cotton, ‘The Lost Churches’, The Churches of Venice, accessed 17 February 2017, http://www.churchesofvenice.co.uk/demolished.htm.
4
Fully transcribed and discussed at ‘Racconto di Venezia 6: Tommaso Rangone, da astrologo a mecenate di Jacopo Tintoretto’, Heritage Italy Associazione Culturale, accessed 17 February 2017, https://sites.google.com/site/heritageitaly/hot-news-1/raccontodivenezia6tommasorangonedaastrologoamecenatedijacopotintoretto.
5
See ‘Tommaso Rangone (Biographical details)’, The British Museum, accessed 17 February 2017, http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/search_the_collection_database/term_details.aspx?bioId=184247.
Technical notes:
There is conspicuous creasing across the lower half of the leaf. The small hole below right of the centre is presumably a manufacturing fault.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

Read full Catalogue entry

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