Drawn with the page turned horizontally, the main view is a relatively slight study of the familiar Venetian prospect north up the Piazzetta to the campanile of San Marco (St Mark’s), continued to its full height across the gutter on folio 2 verso opposite (D31280). Beyond moored shipping on the left are the Zecca and Libreria Sansoviniana, balanced by the domes of St Mark’s and the south front of the Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) on the right.
As noted in the sketchbook’s Introduction, the Venice views on its early pages are intermingled with German sketches from Turner’s return journey. Turner subsequently used the blank space of the foreground towards the outer edge for two small sketches at Coburg, as identified by Cecilia Powell.1 One, towards the top right relative to the sketchbook’s foliation, shows the gabled Zeughaus along Herrngasse off the north-east corner of the market square, as shown in one of the views on folio 1 verso (D31278). Inverted relative to it and framed by pencil lines is a view of the domed Judentor gate-tower along Judengasse, looking from the west side of the square between buildings which remain recognisable.