Joseph Mallord William Turner

Views from the Bacino, Venice, towards Sunset, Including the Canale della Giudecca, Santa Maria della Salute, the Dogana, the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) and the Riva degli Schiavoni

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
D31833
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 22

Catalogue entry

Finberg later annotated his brief 1909 Inventory entry (‘Entrance Grand Canal’): ‘Giudecca – & Doge’s Pal. & Campe., from Canal S. Marco’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy: ‘Panoramas from a gondola in the Canal di S. Marco’.2 With the page turned horizontally, there are three prospects of skylines full of domes and towers.
At the top, the view ranges north-west and north to the Dogana, silhouetted against the sinking sun, with the campanile of Santo Stefano, San Moisè and San Marco (St Mark’s, cut off at the outer edge), with the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Bridge of Sighs and New Prisons on the right.
Across the middle the view is to the west, with the Zitelle and Redentore churches on the south side of the Canale della Giudecca, and Santa Maria della Salute shaded to the north-west above the porch of the Dogana, linking back to the left-hand side of the top sketch. Squeezed in at the bottom is a continuation from the right-hand side of the latter, looking north and north-east to the Riva degli Schiavoni waterfront, with the Bridge of Sighs and New Prisons again, the Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo), and the churches of San Zaccaria, San Giorgio dei Greci, and the Pietà; compare the annotated view including these on folio 17 verso (D31824).
This is one of a several studies in this book (see also folios 16 verso, 22 verso, 25 verso, 29 recto, 32 recto and 41 verso; D31822, D31834, D31839, D31846, D31852, D31871) noted by Ian Warrell as showing the sun setting from the vicinity of San Giorgio Maggiore in connection with an anecdote by the watercolourist William Callow (1812–1908), who recalled relaxing in a gondola and seeing Turner still busy working at that late hour, sketching the church from another boat.3
1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.1010.
2
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1010.
3
See Warrell 2003, pp.197, 264 notes 5 and 6.
Technical notes:
Incongruously dark strokes at the bottom right are possibly owning to a reaction with glue used on the verso (D31834) to repair a slight tear at this point.

Matthew Imms
September 2018

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