Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Palazzo Balbi on the Grand Canal, Venice (About 1819 - 1835)

About this artwork

Turner achieved a delicate balance between broad suggestion and descriptive detail in his depiction of this magnificent stretch of the Grand Canal. The play of light and shadow emphasises the architectural structure of its many palaces and their reflections becoming less distinct as they recede into the distance. The gondolas in the foreground are suggested with wonderful economy and are echoed by others moored at intervals along the route. This drawing relates to others made during Turner's last visit to the city in 1840.

see more information see media

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Joseph Mallord William Turner

Turner transformed the art of landscape painting in Britain. From detailed topographical studies to expansive, atmospheric vistas his works celebrate the diversity and emotive power of nature. He was born in Covent Garden, the son of a barber, and exhibited his earliest sketches in his father's shop before studying at the Royal Academy Schools. Turner became the youngest ever full member of the Royal Academy in 1802. His experimental use of watercolour and oils achieved stunning effects, attracting contemporary criticism and praise. Turner's admiration of past masters, above all Claude Lorraine, and the numerous sketches made on many tours in Britain and abroad, provided the basis for his 'sublime' land and seascapes.