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Drawn with the sketchbook inverted, this is one of several sketches of classical architecture in this sketchbook, culminating in a double-spread study on folios 32 verso–33 (D10640–10641) which, though very rubbed, seems to be a study for The Decline of the Carthaginian Empire (Tate N00499)1 exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1817. The arcade or row of arches sketched here might be very loosely connected with one in the middle distance to right of centre in the picture.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed.1984, New Haven and London 1984, pp.100–1 no.135 (pl.137).