Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice Canal Scenes, with a Bridge and a Tower


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 54 a

Catalogue entry

These slight drawings were made with the page turned horizontally. Finberg later annotated his generic 1909 Inventory entry (‘Distant buildings’): ‘Ponte di Rialto’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy in the same way.2 The main view possibly includes the imposing arcaded bridge on the Grand Canal, seen from the north-west, but the proportions of buildings appear wrong; compare for example a watercolour in the contemporary Grand Canal and Giudecca sketchbook (Tate D32119; Turner Bequest CCCXV 3). It may rather be a smaller structure with a balustrade.
The separate view of a building with a distant tower at the bottom left is continued across the gutter onto folio 55 recto opposite (D31398), where a small bridge is shown in the foreground.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.1011.
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1011.

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