The present work was painted on Boudin's third trip to Venice in the summer of 1895. His visits to Venice can be seen in many ways to mark the culmination of his career, occupying the same relative importance in the 1890s as the seminal Trouville beach pictures had occupied in the 1860s. The subject of Venice - from the eighteenth-century vedutisti such as Canaletto and Guardi (the latter of whom Boudin made copies after in the Louvre in the late 1860s), through to Turner and Ziem in the nineteenth-century - exerted an enduring appeal on artists and art-lovers. In tackling this subject Boudin was asking to be measured against such celebrated forerunners, marry the topographical lessons learnt from Canaletto with the nuances of climate that distinguish his best paintings executed in coastal atmospheres.
The present work is either painted from a vantage point on the Fondamenta Zattere or from a jetty projecting from the quayside into the Canale della Giudecca. Boudin has set his easel a little to the west of the church of I Gesuati, looking eastward along the quay towards the Dogana. The imposing Palladian facade of the church, towering over the neighbouring buildings in a deliberate echo of the Redentore which faces I Gesuati across the canal, is offset at the right by the delicate geometry of the ships' masts and sails.