With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with drawings of the façades of the Château de Versailles, located some twelve miles south-west of central Paris. The sketch along the central strip of the page towards the right-hand side depicts the Cour de Mabre (marble courtyard) at the heart of the palace. This is flanked on the right by the taller structure of the Baroque royal chapel. Turner made numerous sketches of the palace 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.