The distinctive architecture of the Rialto Bridge is depicted in shade, immediately enhancing its powerful presence across the Grand Canal. Turner used the whiteness of the paper itself to describe the sun bleached facades of the buildings, simply suggesting the architectural detail with a few light touches of the brush. The contrast of light and shadow between buildings and bridge is striking. Turner also captured the colourful character of the busy canal traffic and its reflections in the water. This drawing is connected with the artist's last visit to Venice in 1840.