Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
A Paddle Steamer off the Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, with the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Venice, Entrance to the Piazzetta, Libreria Sansoviniana and Zecca (Mint) 1840
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 45a
Pencil on cream wove paper, 123 x 173 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.1011, CCCXIII 45a, as ‘Do. [i.e. ditto: Buildings from canal]’.
The interrelated views here were made with the page turned horizontally; Finberg later annotated his noncommittal 1909 Inventory
entry (‘Buildings from canal’): ‘Shipping & bldgs. Too rough for identification’.1
However, the seemingly convoluted subject is relatively straightforward on close inspection, with a paddle steamer on the Bacino off the south front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) at the bottom right, the two columns at the Molo entrance of the Piazzetta at the centre, and sailing vessels moored off the lightly outlined Libreria Sansoviniana and Zecca (Mint) to the west beyond.
The upper view is a continuation to the right, with the palace loosely reprised at the left, more attention being given to the fenestration of its east side above the Rio di Palazzo, with the shallow roof of the New Prisons at the centre and hints of the Gothic tracery of the Hotel Danieli (Palazzo Dandolo) along the Riva degli Schiavoni on the right. There are numerous studies of this familiar scene near the beginning of this sketchbook; compare in particular folios 6 recto and 7 verso (D31801
How to cite
Matthew Imms, ‘A Paddle Steamer off the Riva degli Schiavoni, Venice, with the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), Venice, Entrance to the Piazzetta, Libreria Sansoviniana and Zecca (Mint) 1840 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, September 2018, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, December 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-a-paddle-steamer-off-the-riva-degli-schiavoni-venice-with-r1196774, accessed 24 May 2022.