Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice: Looking East towards San Pietro di Castello - Early Morning


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In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour on paper
Support: 223 × 287 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXXI 5

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Although Byron was based in or near Venice when Turner first visited the city in 1819, there is no evidence that they met. Turner's watercolours nevertheless provide a splendid counterpoint to Byron's poetic impressions, observing the city from near and afar, by day and night, and in an infinite variety of moods. This sparkling view of Venice from the lagoon seems to echo Byron's own introduction to the city in the third canto of 'Childe Harold': 'She looks a sea Cybele, fresh from oceans,/ Rising with her tiara of proud towers'.

Gallery label, August 2004

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