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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Canale della Giudecca, Venice, with Santa Maria della Salute, the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark's), the Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Place) and San Giorgio Maggiore 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Canale della Giudecca, Venice, with Santa Maria della Salute, the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Place) and San Giorgio Maggiore 1840
Turner Bequest CCCXVI 8
Watercolour on white wove paper, 245 x 308 mm
Watermark ‘C Ansell | 1828’
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Inscribed in red ink ‘8’ bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXVI 8’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The Turner scholar C.F. Bell extended Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘At the mouth of the Giudecca. The Dogana and Campanile on the left, with San Giorgio on the right’): ‘from the Canale della Grazia’.1 However, the viewpoint seems to be somewhat further west, along or just off the Fondamenta della Croce on the Isola della Giudecca, half way between the Redentore and the Zitelle, going by the relative angles of elements of Santa Maria della Salute and San Giorgio Maggiore, which frame the view at left and right respectively. The vantage point was long familiar; see for example the 1819 Venice to Ancona sketchbook (Tate D14523; Turner Bequest CLXXVI 19).
The prospect ranges north and north-east, and is severely laterally compressed, by a factor of about three; the south side of the Dogana alone would occupy most of the width of the sheet if rendered accurately, with the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) outside its right-hand edge. The tower is actually seen on a diagonal from this angle, while the Molo front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) is shown as an undifferentiated block below to its right. The pale, evanescent skyline above the Riva degli Schiavoni forms a much simplified backdrop to the more substantial forms of San Giorgio, and a sense of recession is deftly generated by the darker forms of the gondolas towards the foreground on that side. Leo Costello has discussed this work among others showing the characteristic leaning action of energetic gondoliers,2 here captured in a couple of deft strokes of the brush.
The view is almost the same in Tate D32139 (Turner Bequest CCCXVI 2), a similarly slight but atmospheric work. Ian Warrell has noted the differences in the direction of lighting, from the left to suggest afternoon or evening in the other case, and from the right here, in a morning effect which likely informed the oil painting Ducal Palace, Dogano, with part of San Georgio, Venice, exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1841 (Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College, Ohio).3
As printed in the main catalogue of the Turner exhibition held in Copenhagen in 1976, the entry for no.76 gave details of the present work;4 however, this was amended on a printed corrigendum slip5 to refer to another 1840 Venice sheet (Tate D32165; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 28), which is the one reproduced.6
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p..
See Costello 2012, p.192.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.240–1 no.390, pl.394 (colour); see Warrell 2003, p.181.
David Loshak and Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner 1775–1851: Akvareller og Tegninger fra British Museum, exhibition catalogue, Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen 1976, p.72.
Tipped in at the back of a copy in the Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain.
Ibid., p.73.
Technical notes:
The forms are rendered entirely in watercolour, without any underlying pencil guidelines.
This is one of numerous 1840 Venice works Ian Warrell has noted as on sheets of ‘white paper produced [under the name] Charles Ansell,1 each measuring around 24 x 30 cm, several watermarked with the date “1828”’:2 Tate D32138–D32139, D32141–D32143, D32145–D32147, D32154–D32163, D32167–D32168, D32170–D32177, D35980, D36190 (Turner Bequest CCCXVI 1, 2, 4–6, 8–10, 17–26, 30, 31, 33–40, CCCLXIV 137, 332). Warrell has also observed that The Doge’s Palace and Piazzetta, Venice (National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin)3 and Venice: The New Moon (currently untraced)4 ‘may belong to this group’.5
Albeit Peter Bower, Turner’s Later Papers: A Study of the Manufacture, Selection and Use of his Drawing Papers 1820–1851, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.81, notes that the Muggeridge family had taken over after 1820, still using the ‘C Ansell’ watermark.
‘Appendix: The papers used for Turner’s Venetian Watercolours’ (1840, section 2) in Warrell 2003, p.259.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.463 no.1356, reproduced.
Ibid., p.464 no.1365.
Warrell 2003, p.259.
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘27’ top right; stamped in black ‘CCCXVI 8’ over Turner Bequest monogram below centre; inscribed in pencil ‘D32145’ bottom left.

Matthew Imms
July 2018

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘The Canale della Giudecca, Venice, with Santa Maria della Salute, the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Place) and San Giorgio Maggiore 1840 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 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-canale-della-giudecca-venice-with-santa-maria-della-r1196983, accessed 08 May 2021.