Bonington arrived in Venice in the third week of April 1826. According to Dubuisson, he spent 'his happiest moments' in Venice. 'Architecture, which in Normandy and Paris had supplied him with subjects for so many interesting pictures, occupied him here to the exclusion of everything else, and the landscape painter who could depict with so delicate a touch the passing effects of light on the shores of the Channel threw himself into the study of the palaces and terraces of Venice'.
In his Italian drawings Bonington developed a graphic shorthand, which although highly accurate was better suited to the rapid pace at which he necessarily had to work. The feeling that he might never visit Venice again undoubtedly compounded the sense of urgency.
A number of Bonington drawings of the Grand Canal, the market places and on the Lido are known. Two other similar drawings of The Doge's Palace and The Greek Church, both bought in the Bonington studio sale in 1829, are in the collection of the Earl of Shelburne at Bowood, see A. Dubuisson, op.cit., illustrated following p. 70. Other drawings of Venice by Bonington are in the Tate Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (6128). For Bonington in Venice see also P. Noon, Richard Parkes Bonington 'On the Pleasure of Painting', Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, 1991, pp. 204-216.
We are grateful to Patrick Noon for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.