The setting shown in this richly coloured unfinished has so far not been identified. It may relate to other studies that Turner made in Northern
Italy and near the Mediterranean coast. The distant mountains could well be
those around the lakes of Garda or
Como, which Turner had visited in 1819.
The central area of the foreground of this represents the preliminary structures of a town or city. This gives some idea of how Turner steadily built up the details of his finished watercolours.
Gallery label, August 2004