This page and folios 16 recto opposite, 17 recto, 18 recto and 57 recto (D31307, D31309–D31310, D31388) focus on the Bridge of Sighs,1 and are perhaps the last pencil drawings Turner made in Venice. This and D31307 show similar, rapidly observed prospects north from the Bacino, centred on the Ponte della Paglia over the entrance to the Rio del Palazzo, with the elevated Bridge of Sighs beyond, linking the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) on the left to the New Prisons on the right. The furthest building on the right is the Palazzo Dandolo (Hotel Daniele) on the Riva degli Schiavoni.
The view is a reprise of that in Turner’s painting Venice, the Bridge of Sighs (Tate N00527),2 which he had shown at the 1840 Royal Academy exhibition, shortly before this visit to the city. A view of the bridge in the contemporary Rotterdam to Venice sketchbook (Tate D32412–D32413; Turner Bequest CCCXX 76a–77) may be the first pencil drawing Turner made in Venice during this last visit.
As noted in the sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey.
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