Venice, rich in literary and historical associations, was a popular subject in the 19th century. Here, boats take revellers to one of the city’s infamous masquerade balls as the sun sets and the moon rises.
Despite spending just under four weeks in the ‘City of Water’, Turner found great inspiration there: from 1833–46 Venetian scenes accounted for a third of his output. This work, with its pair, was his last painting of Venice. It was in Turner’s studio at the time of his death in 1851, and came to Tate as part of the Turner Bequest.