Finberg later extended his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Ducal Palace, Campanile, &c. (Note. – The Campanile has scaffolding round its summit.’): ‘in all sketches in this book CFB’.1 The initials are those of the Turner scholar C.F. Bell.
Made with the page turned horizontally, the view is from the Bacino, off the right-hand end of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) on the right, looking north-west along the Molo to the columns at the opening of the Piazzetta, with the Libreria Sansoviniana and Zecca (Mint) at the left. Rising at the centre, at the far end of the Piazzetta, is the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s). The scaffolding at the top mentioned by Finberg and Bell is actually seen in the upwards continuation of the spire across folio 5 verso opposite (D31800); its presence, as seen in numerous other drawings linked to the 1840 tour (see the overall Introduction), is a consistent indication for dating.2
Compare Tate D32180 (Turner Bequest CCCXVII 1), also associated with this tour, a less accurate rendition from a similar angle in gouache and watercolour on grey paper. The drawing on the verso of the present leaf (D31802), with the right-hand half of the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs to its east, is effectively a continuation of the subject.
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