Painted during Turner's final visit to Venice in 1840, this breathtaking watercolour shows the Lagoon in Venice lit by moonlight, with blue, green and grey colour bands depicting the sky and water. This hazy background is contrasted by the fishermen in the foreground on a wooden structure being used as a temporary mooring.
Joseph Mallord William Turner
Fishermen on the Lagoon, Moonlight
The EY Exhibition: Late Turner - Painting Set Free
19.2 x 28cm
Watercolour on paper
Date of work
Original: Watercolour on paper 19.2 x 28 cm Tate. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Joseph Mallord William Turner was born in London; he remained a Londoner and kept a Cockney accent all his life despite dominating British landscape painting throughout the first half of the 19th century. He established a reputation in the Royal Academy, first as a topographical watercolourist and then within a few years as a painter of sublime and historical landscapes. From the mid-1790s he settled on the routine he maintained for much of his life: touring in summer and working in the studio in the winter months. He opened his own gallery and had many patrons and admirers as well as detractors. After his death a large body of his works in oil and watercolour was given to the British nation, with many on show at Tate Britain.