The city is just visible at the right on the horizon, caught between stormy skies and choppy lagoon water. Colourful washes and brushstrokes combine to capture the atmospheric fusion of the elements in which the buildings almost seems to dissolve. The dark silhouette of a steamer stands out from the sailing boats tossing around in the waves; contrasting the old age of sail with the modern one of steam transport was a theme the artist explored in other works, such 'The Fighting Temeraire' (National Gallery, London). Turner visited Venice three times in 1819, 1833 and 1840. This drawing is characteristic of the studies made during his last visit in 1840.