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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Venice: The Bacino, Canale della Giudecca and Canale di San Marco 1840

Turner Bequest CCCXVI 2, 4, 8–10, 13–15, 17–24, 26, 30, 31, 33–35, 37, 38, 40, CCCXVII 4, 5, 15, 16, CCCXVIII 6, 16
This grouping of Venetian colour studies includes waterfront views across the Bacino (Venice’s central harbour basin), south of the ceremonial focus of the city around the Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square) and the Piazzetta where they meet the Molo waterfront beside the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace), east of the entrance to the Grand Canal, and north-west of the island church of San Giorgio Maggiore. There are views too from the broad Canale di San Marco, leading east from the Bacino off the Riva degli Schiavoni and successive quays towards the Giardini Pubblici and the open Lagoon; and from the Canale della Giudecca, running west and defined on its south side by the long island of the same name, with views towards the mainland at its less frequented far end. As arranged in the present catalogue alongside a smaller grouping of Grand Canal views, the subjects complement the watercolours in the contemporary Grand Canal and Giudecca sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCCXV).
On Turner’s first visit, in 1819, the handful of Venetian watercolours he made in the Como and Venice sketchbook had all shown scenes around the entrance to the Grand Canal and the adjacent Bacino (Tate D15254–D15256, D15258; Turner Bequest CLXXXI 4–7), with the architecture delicately rendered in a narrow band between luminous sea and sky. Two decades on the works here, mostly on a variety of white papers, are painted with translucent washes to evoke the brilliant light reflected from these waters, dissolving the solid forms of architecture and shipping alike. Worked to quieter effect, there are also a few grey sheets, as discussed in the individual technical notes; see also the Introduction to the tour.

Matthew Imms
July 2018

Showing 1 - 30 of 32 artworks
Sort by:
View as:
Showing 1 - 30 of 32 artworks

How to cite

Matthew Imms, ‘Venice: The Bacino, Canale della Giudecca and Canale di San Marco 1840’, subset, 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/venice-the-bacino-canale-della-giudecca-and-canale-di-san-marco-r1196980, accessed 06 March 2021.