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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, from under the Ponte della Paglia 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 17 Recto:
The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, from under the Ponte della Paglia 1840
D31309
Turner Bequest CCCX 17
Pencil on cream wove paper, 126 x 198 mm
Partial watermark ‘J. Wh
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘17’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCCX – 17’ top right, ascending vertically
 
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The view is north along the Rio del Palazzo, from beneath the arch of the Ponte della Paglia at the canal’s Bacino entrance. The Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) on the left and the New Prisons on the right are linked by the elevated Bridge of Sighs.1 Compare the evocative contemporary colour study on brown paper showing the scene by night (Tate D32253; Turner Bequest CCCXIX 5).
The contemporary Rotterdam to Venice sketchbook includes a view from a little closer to the Bridge of Sighs (Tate D32412–D32413; Turner Bequest CCCXX 76a–77). Folio 18 recto opposite here (D31310) shows the view back this way from the north; see also folios 15 verso, 16 recto and 57 recto (D31306–D31307, D31388).
As noted in the sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey.
1
See Finberg 1930, p.
Verso:
Blank

Matthew Imms
September 2018

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Bridge of Sighs, Venice, from under the Ponte della Paglia 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-the-bridge-of-sighs-venice-from-under-the-ponte-della-paglia-r1196099, accessed 28 January 2022.