TURNER, Joseph Mallord William
(b. 1775, London, d. 1851, Chelsea)

The Grand Canal, Venice

1835
Oil on canvas, 91 x 122 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Turner grew from a young art student trained in executing topographical watercolours to the creator of some of the most original landscapes of his time. On his second visit to Venice, probably in September 1833, he created a series of views of the city that betray on the one hand an ardent interest in recording what he saw and, on the other, a Romantic sensibility that suffused his pictures with a sense of the grandeur of nature and of its magnificent light and colour. This picture is based in part on a pencil drawing made during Turner's first trip to Venice in August 1819 and combines two viewpoints along the Grand Canal. It was shown with four other works in May 1835 at the Royal Academy, where it was well received as one of his "most agreeable works."

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 10 minutes):
Antonio Vivaldi: Concerto for recorder in A minor