With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the top half of this page with a view of the small pleasure retreat known as the Petit Trianon at the Palace of Versailles, located some twelve miles south-west of central Paris. This sketch is taken from a tree-lined avenue leading to the building’s south wing with the main entrance courtyard just in front. Turner made numerous sketches of the Versailles palace complex 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.