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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner ?The Ponte della Veneta Marina, Venice, with the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark's) in the Distance 1840

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
?The Ponte della Veneta Marina, Venice, with the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) in the Distance 1840
Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 16
Gouache and watercolour on grey wove paper, 218 x 282 mm
Inscribed by Turner in gouache ‘[?Marina]’ top centre
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram towards bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCCXVIII – 16’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
The Turner scholar C.F. Bell annotated Finberg’s 1909 Inventory entry (‘A view’): ‘nondescript’.1 Finberg had tentatively transcribed Turner’s scrawled inscription in white chalk or gouache as ‘Marino’,2 later suggesting ‘Murano’,3 the island in the Lagoon to the north of Venice which Turner is not known to have visited.
The freely painted treatment is somewhat disjointed and provisional, but appears to indicate buildings and figures, with the white form of a low bridge at the bottom left. If Turner’s note is read as ‘Marina’, this could indicate the Ponte della Veneta Marina, at the Canale di San Marco entrance to the Rio della Tana south of the Arsenale, linking the Riva San Biagio and the Riva dei Setti Martiri, eastwards from the Riva degli Schiavoni. Compare Tate D32167 (Turner Bequest CCCXVI 30), one of a several contemporary colour studies on white paper showing prospects west along the waterfront towards the centre of the city and the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), which may show the bridge or another nearby.
It seems to be mentioned in a memorandum in the contemporary Rotterdam to Venice sketchbook (Tate D32431; Turner Bequest CCCXX 86), and there is a pencil drawing showing its elevation from the Canale di San Marco in the Venice and Botzen book (D31835; CCCXIII 23). See also D31809 (CCCXIII 10) in the latter book, a rapid sketch with the silhouetted masts of shipping moored on the canal complementing the distant campanile, and a separate study of the bridge inscribed ‘Ponte della Venetta [sic] Marina’; this page could be linked to the present study, with what seem to be masts in blue on the left, and the more substantial form of what may be the campanile in the same colour at the centre.
Compare D32225 (CCCXVIII 6) in the present grouping, a moonlit view towards the campanile along the Riva on similar paper, and the loose treatment of figures and architectural forms in other brown and grey paper Venice studies such as D32233, D32237 and D32251 (CCCXVIII 14, 18, CCCXIX 3).
Undated MS note by Bell (died 1966) in copy of Finberg 1909, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain, II, p.1027.
Finberg 1909, II, p.1027.
Finberg 1930, p.176.
Technical notes:
There is scattered spotting towards the top left. This is one of numerous 1840 Venice works Ian Warrell has noted as being on ‘Grey wove [paper], with a textured surface, produced by an unknown maker’ mostly measuring around 218 x 285 mm:1 Tate D32222, D32234–D32236, D32243–D32244 (Turner Bequest CCCXVIII 3, 15–17, 24, 25).
‘Appendix: The papers used for Turner’s Venetian Watercolours’ (1840, section 12) in Warrell 2003, p.259; see also Bower 1999, p.112 and note 1.
Blank; inscribed by Turner in ink ‘20’ bottom right, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘49’ top centre, ascending vertically; inscribed in pencil ‘S’ below centre; inscribed in pencil ‘D32235’ and ‘CCCXVIII 16’ bottom right. For the various ink numbers inscribed by the artist on similar sheets, see the Introduction to the tour.

Matthew Imms
July 2018

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘?The Ponte della Veneta Marina, Venice, with the Campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) in the Distance 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-ponte-della-veneta-marina-venice-with-the-campanile-of-r1197012, accessed 14 August 2020.