Finberg later annotated his basic 1909 Inventory entry (‘Views of Venice’): ‘2 sk[etches]. (1 S. Giorgio I think. (2) Salute, & Doge’s Pal. from Giudecca’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy: ‘Panoramas from a gondola in the Canal di S. Marco ... Campanile with scaffolding’.2 With the page turned horizontally, there are two distinct views.
At the top, the viewpoint is the Canale di San Marco near the northern shore of the Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, with the easternmost of its harbour’s two lighthouses on the left, the other to the right of the campanile and dome of the island’s church, and a loose outline of Santa Maria della Salute on the right, across the Bacino to the west.
Below, the Salute is better defined on the left, with the setting sun above a silhouetted boat. Near the centre is the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), with the scaffolding noted by Bell (an important indication of such sketches’ 1840 date; see the tour Introduction), above the domes of the Basilica. To the right, the forms are less clear, but may be San Giorgio’s western lighthouse and part of the church in the middle distance, making the viewpoint the Bacino, looking north-west and north from a new viewpoint some way south-west of the first.
This is one of a several studies in this book (see also folios 16 verso, 22 recto, 25 verso, 29 recto, 32 recto and 41 verso; D31822, D31833, 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
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, opposite p.1010.
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1010.
See Warrell 2003, pp.197, 264 notes 5 and 6.