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


William Wethered [d. 1863], King's Lynn, Norfolk, and by 1849, London. Benjamin Godfrey Windus [1790-1867],[1] Tottenham, after 1847;[2] (sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 20 June 1853, no. 5); (Ernest Gambart, Paris, Brussels, and London). Charles Birch, Edgbaston and London; (sale, Messrs. Foster, London, 28 February 1856, no. 57); bought by Wallis. Joseph Gillott, Edgbaston, by 1860. (Ernest Gambart, Paris, Brussels, and London); purchased 1863 by (Thos. Agnew & Sons, London); sold 1863 to James Fallows, who exchanged it later that year for pictures by Alfred Elmore and P.F. Poole with (Thos. Agnew & Sons, London); sold to (J. Smith, London).[3] Bought 1870 from the executors of Smith's estate by (Thos. Agnew & Sons, London); sold 1871 to W. Moir; passed to Mrs. Emma Moir; sold 1899 to (Thos. Agnew & Sons, London); purchased the same year by Sir Charles Tennant, Bt. [1823-1906], Glen, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, Scotland; by descent to his grandson, Christopher Tennant, 2nd Baron Glenconner [b. 1899];[4] sold July 1923 to (Charles Carstairs for M. Knoedler & Co., London and New York); purchased November 1923 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 28 December 1934 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.

[1] Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, 2 vols., 2nd rev. ed., (New Haven and London, [1977] 1984), I: no. 412, begin their provenance with Windus.

[2] The picture is not mentioned by Thomas Tudor, who visited Windus on 21 June 1847, as being among the latter's collection of Turners at that time (Butlin and Joll, as per note 1 above, I: 259).

[3] This is probably John Mountjoy Smith (1805-1869), who took over the firm when his father, John Smith (1781-by 1855), the picture dealer of 137 New Bond Street, retired in 1837. The information was kindly provided by Julia Armstrong-Totten; see her e-mail, 1 March 2011, in NGA curatorial files. (In the 1992 NGA catalogue of its British paintings, the elder Smith was incorrectly suggested as possibly being this Smith.) For more about the Smith firm, see Charles Sebag-Montefiore, with Julia I. Armstrong-Totten, A Dynasty of Dealers: John Smith and Successors, 1801-1924: A Study of the Art Market in Nineteenth-Century London, Arundel and London, 2013.

[4] NGA curatorial files.

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