This picture is based on Canaletto's painting from the Grenville Harvey series of twenty-one canvases, datable to the mid 1730s (W.G. Constable, Canaletto, Oxford, 1962, I, pl. 50; II, p. 288, no. 241). It is identical in size to the prototype and corresponds with it, rather than Visentini's engraving of 1742, in the cloud formations. There are however, numerous variations. All of the figures differ, as do many of the boats and their positions. Many of the changes are quite subtle. In the present painting a cloth hangs from the top balcony of the Palazzo Michiel dalle Colonne, on the far left, rather than from the piano nobile; the present work omits flowerpots on the top balustrade of the small house immediately beyond, but includes flowerpots on the windowsills of the Fabbriche Nuove di Rialto, on the right, not present in Canaletto's painting. This all suggests that the present picture must have been executed before the prototype left Italy for England, either in Canaletto's studio or while Canaletto's painting was in the hands of Joseph Smith. The fourth house on the left, the Palazzo Mangilli Valmarana immediately before the Rio dei Santi Apostoli, was to be remodelled in the 1740s by Antonio Visentini to serve as Smith's residence.