National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Approach to Venice Joseph Mallord William Turner (artist)
British, 1775 - 1851
Approach to Venice, 1844
oil on canvas
overall: 62 x 94 cm (24 7/16 x 37 in.) framed: 88 x 118.4 x 12.4 cm (34 5/8 x 46 5/8 x 4 7/8 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
On View
From the Tour: Constable and Turner — British Landscapes of the Early 1800s
Object 11 of 11

As barges and gondolas slowly cross the Venetian lagoon, the misty city vanishes in the twilight. John Ruskin, the major art critic who was one of Turner’s few champions later in his career, hailed the canvas as “the most perfectly beautiful piece of colour of all that I have seen produced by human hands.” In the Royal Academy catalogue for 1844, this entry was accompanied by a quotation that Turner himself rewrote from Lord Byron’s poem Childe Harold:

“The moon is up, and yet it is not night,
The sun as yet disputes the day with her.”

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