Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Tolentini (Church of Nicolò da Tolentino), Venice, with the Bridge on the Rio dei Tolentini; Studies of Boats; ?a Copy of a Painting


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 86 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, the main drawing appears to be a variation on a more detailed, confirmed view in the contemporary Venice to Ancona sketchbook (Tate D14513; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 14), which shows the Rio di Tolentini, near the north-west entrance to the Grand Canal, with the church of San Nicolò da Tolentino, known the Tolentini, with its prominent Corinthian porch, to the south-south-east. The right-hand half of the site has changed, with the wall of the Papadopoli Gardens now running down that side of the canal beyond the remaining single column of the (latterly) convent church of Santa Croce, which had been demolished in 1813.1 The viewpoint of the Venice to Ancona drawing appears to be the bridge itself, whereas here it is shown in the foreground from the Grand Canal.
Along the top are studies of small local boats and their cargoes, in a sequence continuous with others on folio 88 recto opposite (D14481; Turner Bequest CLXXV 87); for more studies of boats in this sketchbook, see under folio 37 recto (D14383).
Squeezed in at the gutter with the page turned vertically is a thumbnail sketch, apparently from a painting which may show figures in an urban Venetian setting. It is marked with colour and tonal notes, and its subject is apparently recorded beneath, albeit in such tiny, crabbed writing as to be not yet deciphered. See under folio 40 verso (D14390) for Turner’s studies of artworks in Venice.

Matthew Imms
March 2017

See Jeff Cotton, ‘The Lost Churches’, The Churches of Venice, accessed 15 February 2017,

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