This slight subject is unrelated to the Venice view on the recto (D33883). It seems to show figures and a horse or horses on the left, and a carriage behind trees on the right. The white chalk above the pencil outlines of distant hills may represent bright cloud or higher peaks.
The setting and occasion are unclear, but may represent a scheduled roadside halt or some minor delay to Turner’s journey, in the tradition of the rather more dramatic watercolours marking incidents on his return through the Alps on previous Continental tours, 1820’s Snowstorm, Mont Cenis (Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery),1 and Messieurs les voyageurs on their Return from Italy (par la diligence) in a Snow Drift upon Mount Tarrar – 22nd of January, 1829, exhibited in that year (British Museum, London).2
In 1840 the outward route had brought him though the Austrian Alps and the Italian Dolomites (see the Rotterdam to Venice sketchbook; Tate; Turner Bequest CCCXX). After crossing from Venice to Trieste he travelled through rugged, unfamiliar scenery in Austrian-controlled Slovenia towards Austria itself (see the Trieste, Graz and Danube book; Turner Bequest CCXCIX), and this sketch perhaps shows that leg of the journey, hastily set down on the back of one of the sheets he had recently used.
There is scattered brown staining. For notes on the paper, see under the recto (D33883).