With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with a view of the gardens and palace of Versailles, located some twelve miles south-west of central Paris. The sketch is taken looking across the Parterre d’Eau to the garden façade of the edifice on its southern wing. Particular attention has been paid to the royal chapel rising above the rest of the complex. 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.