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Turner visited Venice for the first time in 1819. He stayed only a few days, but the city inspired him to make a group of exceptionally free and limpid views, revealing a new understanding of the qualities of pure watercolour. These watercolours were made from points at or near the entrance to the Grand Canal and the Canale della Giudecca. Here Sta Maria Maggiore seems to have been observed from the Palazzo Giustiniani, which later became the Hotel Europa, where Turner stayed on subsequent visits to the city.

August 2004