The Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute, Venice (1843)

Turner, Joseph Mallord William (1775-1851)

The Dogana and Santa Maria della Salute, Venice
Oil on canvas, 62 x 93 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Through a golden haze and across an expanse of gently rippling water dotted with boats, ghostly ivory and parchment-white buildings rise along a distant shore in this loosely painted horizontal landscape. The misty horizon comes about a third of the way up the composition, and the sky above is mostly butter yellow with a few touches of shell pink, and a patch of topaz blue in the upper left corner. Closest to us, in the lower right corner, several honey-yellow boats are pulled up to a parchment-white dock. Touches of charcoal gray, peacock green, ruby red, and mauve pink suggest cloth or other objects filling the boats and piled on the corner of the dock. A few strokes of white, blush pink, and brick red suggest several people beyond a low wall or other structure to our right. Farther back and to our left, streaks and swipes of coral red, pale yellow, and gold suggest boats along a dock. Along the horizon, in the distance opposite us, there is a golden-yellow building with a tower on its front façade. Beyond this building, a cream-white structure with two tall domes rises against the sky. Along the horizon to either side, blended smudges of lilac purple, rose pink, and aquamarine blue suggest more buildings and boats. The buildings and boats are reflected in the loosely painted, straw-yellow water. The artist signed the painting as if he had written his initials on the wall near the lower right corner, “JMWT.” (NGA)

See also:

Punta della Dogana | Santa Maria della Salute | Venezia (Italia)