With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with a view of the gardens at the palace of Versailles, located some twelve miles south-west of central Paris. The sketch is taken looking over the high holding wall of the Parterre d’Eau, past the Escaliers de Latone fountain and down the many terraces of the Grande Perspective. 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.