Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice Quay, Ducal Palace

exhibited 1844

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 622 × 927 mm
frame: 880 × 1190 × 140 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Display caption

The subject of this painting is an oblique view of the Riva degli Schiavoni, the principal waterfront in Venice. On the left is the Doge’s Palace with the Campanile of San Marco behind, and on the right is the white dome and bell tower of the church of San Zaccaria. The quay in the foreground is crowded with boats, their vertical masts punctuating the long stretch of promenade beyond. Like many of Turner’s images of Venice, the picture is characterised by the haziness of its forms, and it is difficult to say where the land ends and the water begins.

Gallery label, February 2010

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Catalogue entry

413. [N00540] Venice Quay, Ducal Palace Exh. 1844


Canvas, 24 1/2 × 36 1/2 (62 × 92·5)

Coll. Turner Bequest 1856 (one of 18–21, 36–40; see No. 383); transferred to the Tate Gallery 1920.

Exh. R.A. 1844 (430); Australian tour 1960 (13); Wildenstein's 1972 (56, repr.); Venice 1983–4 (13, repr. in colour as no. 11).

Lit. Thornbury 1862, i, p. 348; 1877, pp. 466–7; Bell 1901, p. 151 no. 248; Armstrong 1902, p. 235; Finberg 1930, pp. 151, 157; Davies 1946, p. 186; Finberg 1961, pp. 400–01, 508 no. 562; Herrmann 1975, p. 51, pl. 165; Butlin 1981, p. 45.

The Doge's Palace is on the left, with the Campanile behind. The big church on the right is S. Zaccaria.

For the Spectator's comment on this picture see No. 411 [N00539].

The picture is painted on a canvas bearing the third form of the Thomas Brown stamp, which seems to have come into use in about 1839.

Published in:
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984

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