J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner An Awning across the Canale di San Marco Waterfront, Venice, with San Giorgio Maggiore, Santa Maria della Salute and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark's) in the Distance 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 28 Recto:
An Awning across the Canale di San Marco Waterfront, Venice, with San Giorgio Maggiore, Santa Maria della Salute and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) in the Distance 1840
D31844
Turner Bequest CCCXIII 28
Pencil on cream wove paper, 123 x 173 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘28’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCCXIII – 28’ top right, ascending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Buildings’): ‘a Traghetto with awning up’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell similarly marked another copy.2 With the page turned horizontally, the foreground shows an awning slung across a quayside, with rapid marks possibly indicating figures and small boats. Beyond to the left are what seem to be schematic renderings of the familiar outlines of San Giorgio Maggiore to the west across the Canale di San Marco, and the domes of Santa Maria della Salute further off beyond the Bacino. Above the awning at the centre appears to be the spire of the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s).
Compare the more detailed views from this direction on folios 25 verso and 26 verso (D31839, D31841). The viewpoint in this case was presumably one of the sequence of broad quays running south-eastwards from the Riva degli Schiavoni in the neighbourhood of San Biagio south of the Arsenale. Compare two contemporary watercolour studies from this direction, both featuring striped awnings (Tate D32158–D32159; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 21, 22).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

1
Undated MS note by Finberg (died 1939) in interleaved copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1010.
2
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1010.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘An Awning across the Canale di San Marco Waterfront, Venice, with San Giorgio Maggiore, Santa Maria della Salute and the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) in the Distance 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-an-awning-across-the-canale-di-san-marco-waterfront-venice-r1196739, accessed 19 September 2021.