Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice from the Canale della Grazia, with Santa Maria della Salute and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) across the Bacino

1840

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 123 × 173 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D31868
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 40

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Distant buildings’): ‘2 sketches: Entrance Gd. C., & Campanile from behind S. Giorgio’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy beside the entries for folios 40 recto–42 recto (D31868–D31872): ‘All views from gondola. The Campanile always scaffolded’.2 The latter observation is important in dating this sketchbook to 1840, as discussed in the tour’s Introduction.
With the page turned horizontally, there are two related views here, each looking north across the Bacino from off the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore. Above, the prospect is from what Turner notes as the ‘Entrance’ to the Canale della Grazia, between San Giorgio and the Isola della Giudecca to its west, where a boatyard is shown. In the right foreground are the monastery buildings of San Giorgio Maggiore directly overlooking the narrow passage. The ‘canal Orfano’ mentioned by Finberg in relation to folios 40 recto–44 recto (D31868–D31876)3 is south of the islands within the more open waters of the Lagoon; there are views from further off in that direction on the verso (D31869).
In the distance, the domes of Santa Maria della Salute are seen on the left to the north-west, with the base of the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) at the centre, towering over the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) on the Molo waterfront below to the right. There is a similar view below, bringing the central two-thirds of the upper sketch into focus and allowing for the full height of the campanile. Compare the two-part sketch on folio 29 recto (D31846), and a contemporary watercolour showing the view to St Mark’s from the channel (Tate D32156; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 19).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.1011.
2
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1011.
3
Finberg 1930, p.171.

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