There are three views here, made with the page turned horizontally both ways up. Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Distant buildings’): ‘3 sk[etches] on Lagoon – at back of S. Giorgio’.1 The Turner scholar C.F. Bell marked another copy beside the entries for folios 40 recto–42 recto (D31868–D31872): ‘All views from gondola. The Campanile always scaffolded’.2 The latter observation is important in dating this sketchbook to 1840, as discussed in the tour’s Introduction.
At the top is a view of the church of San Giorgio Maggiore from south-east; it is now largely obscured by trees on the south end of its island. To the left are slight indications of the domes of Santa Maria della Salute across the Bacino and, at the far left, loose suggestions of the Zitelle church on the neighbouring Isola della Giudecca.
The middle view shows the prospect north through the short Canale della Grazia between the islands, with the monastery buildings and church of San Giorgio, and the domes of the Salute and the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s) in the distance towards the left. The ‘canal Orfano’ mentioned by Finberg in relation to folios 40 recto–44 recto (D31868–D31876)3 runs south of the islands in the more open waters of the Lagoon not far from this viewpoint. Compare the sketches on folio 40 verso opposite (D31869) and a contemporary watercolour showing the view to St Mark’s though the channel (Tate D32156; Turner Bequest CCCXVI 19).
Below, the other way up at the gutter, is a distant prospect of Venice’s domes and spires, more difficult to place precisely; unusually, it and the first sketch are elaborated by the inclusion of billowing clouds.