Stylistically the present drawing probably dates from Ruskin's last trip to Florence in 1882 (Ruskin visited previously in 1870, 1872 and 1874). He arrived on the 5 October 1882 and stayed until the 10 at the Hôtel de la Grand Bretagne overlooking the Arno and just east of the Bridge and it is possible that he made this sketch from his hotel window. Other related drawings are in the collection of the Ruskin Library (see J. Clegg and P. Tucker Ruskin and Tuscany, London, 1992, nos. 264-66). A similar study of the same size but with the view taken from closer to the bridge was with Spink, London, 1986. It is possible that the drawings were intended for Ruskin's projected book Our Fathers have told us, vol. 5, 'Ponte Vecchio', which was never executed.
We are grateful to Dr James S. Dearden and Stephen Wildman for their help in preparing this catalogue entry.