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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, across the Grand Canal from the Hotel Europa (Palazzo Giustinian) in Evening Light 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, across the Grand Canal from the Hotel Europa (Palazzo Giustinian) in Evening Light 1840
Turner Bequest CCCXIX 1
Gouache and watercolour on grey-brown wove paper, 148 x 218 mm
Stamped in black ‘CCCXIX 1’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
This loosely worked colour study, little more than an atmospheric ‘beginning’, is nevertheless recognisable1 as showing the domes of Santa Maria della Salute, blue-grey to the south-west near the centre, across the Grand Canal from the vicinity of the Hotel Europa (Palazzo Giustinian), where Turner was staying; see the Introduction to this subsection.
Compare two colour studies of night scenes from around the same point (Tate D32230, D32232; Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 11, 13), and a related view of the Dogana and Salute by the light of a rocket (D32248; CCCXVIII 29).2 All were developed over broad washes with touches of chalk, gouache and dark, fluid outlines to bring out selected details, and the present work could presumably have been developed in a similar way. The brighter lighting and composition in this case are more reminiscent of a finished watercolour on conventional white sketchbook paper, The Grand Canal, with Santa Maria della Salute, from near the Hotel Europa (private collection),3 looking in the same direction towards a bright yellow sunset.
There is an even slighter Venice waterfront view on the verso (D40321).
See Finberg 1909, II, p.1028, and Finberg 1930, p.176.
See also Warrell 2003, pp.132, 264 note 12.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.464 no.1368; Stainton 1985, p.66 no.94, pl.94 (colour); Warrell 2003, fig.183 (colour).
Technical notes:
The sky appears deliberately rubbed or scrubbed to introduce a degree of texture. Ian Warrell has observed that this sheet was ‘formerly attached at bottom edge’ to Tate D29011 (Turner Bequest CCXCII 60), a German subject from later on the same tour.1 They are among numerous mostly Venetian 1840 subjects that Warrell has noted as being on ‘Grey-brown paper produced by an unknown maker (possibly ... a batch made at Fabriano [Italy])’;2 for numerous red-brown Fabriano sheets used for similar subjects, see for example under Tate D32224 (Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 5).
Warrell noted the grey-brown sheets as being torn into two formats: nine sheets of approximately 148 x 232 mm (Tate D32220, D32249–D32250, D32252–D32253, D32255–D32258; Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 1, CCCXIX 1, 2, 4, 5, 7–10), and seven of twice the size, at about 231 x 295 mm (Tate D32223, D32226, D32228–D32229, D32231, D32233, D32242; Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 4, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14, 23).

Matthew Imms
September 2018

For the use of similar papers in Venice and Germany, see also Powell 1995, p.161.
‘Appendix: The papers used for Turner’s Venetian Watercolours’ (1840, section 11) in Warrell 2003, p.259; see also sections 9 and 10.

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Santa Maria della Salute, Venice, across the Grand Canal from the Hotel Europa (Palazzo Giustinian) in Evening Light 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-santa-maria-della-salute-venice-across-the-grand-canal-from-r1197028, accessed 24 June 2021.