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With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the top half of this page with a view of the small pleasure retreat known as the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles, located some twelve miles south-west of central Paris. This sketch is taken from the building’s south wing with the main entrance courtyard just in front. Turner made numerous sketches of the Versailles palace complex in the present volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook Introduction. The existence of so many studies suggests that Turner considered Versailles as a subject for an illustration for a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36) although it was not included in the publication in the event.1
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London 1908, vol.II, pp.264–76 nos.453–92, 288–92 nos.525–39.