With the page turned horizontally, the view is from near the south-west corner of the Piazza San Marco (St Mark’s Square), looking east-north-east. The Torre dell’Orologio (clock tower) is on the left, with the prominent flagpoles in front of the Basilica towards the centre, with the diaper-patterned west front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) between the campanile and the Procuratie Nuove, receding sharply on the right. Compare the more detailed study in the 1819 Milan to Venice sketchbook (Tate D14397; Turner Bequest CLXXV 44).
Finberg later annotated his 1909 Inventory entry (‘Campanile and St. Mark’s’): ‘scaffolding on cuspida’;1 the Turner scholar C.F. Bell similarly noted: ‘scaffolding on cuspide’.2 The presence of scaffolding around the spire is a recurring factor in dating the Venice views from the 1840 visit (see the Introduction to the tour).