Joseph Mallord William Turner

Venice - Sunset, a Fisher

exhibited 1845

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 613 × 921 mm
frame: 878 × 1185 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Display caption

This painting is part of a pair to Venice - Noon (on display nearby). Turner first exhibited it with the caption ‘Fallacies of Hope’. This is the title of a poem he wrote to accompany his pictures, although he didn’t include any verse in this case. The domes of the Salute church appear in the middle distance. A reviewer at the time noted the pictures were, ‘another pair of gorgeous visions of Venice, blazing with sunlight that floods sea and sky’.

Gallery label, December 2020

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Catalogue entry

419. [N00542] Venice—Sunset, a Fisher Exh. 1845


Canvas, 24 1/8 × 36 1/4 (61 × 92)

Coll. Turner Bequest 1856 (one of 18–21; 36–40; see No. 383 [N00527]); transferred to the Tate Gallery 1954.

Exh. R.A. 1845 (422).

Lit. Thornbury 1862, i,p. 349; 1877, p. 467; Bell 1901, p. 153 no. 254; Armstrong 1902, p. 235; MacColl 1920, p. 24; Finberg 1930, pp. 151, 158; Davies 1946, pp. 152, 186; Finberg 1961, pp. 407, 509 no. 568; Rothenstein and Butlin 1964, p. 66.

Exhibited in 1845 with the caption ‘MS. Fallacies of Hope’. MacColl describes this as a ‘View of the Guidecca and Grand Canals from a point near their junction; in the centre of the picture the domes of the Salute are seen in the middle distance.’ For contemporary criticism see No. 418 [N00541].

Transferred from the original canvas in 1908.

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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