Although the Group of Seven have become known for their nationalistic approach to art-making and the fact that they created a fusion of endemically Canadian form and subject matter, several members received formal art education in Europe. They were exposed to contemporary artistic movements in France, including Post-Impressionism and Fauvism. A.Y. Jackson travelled to Europe three times before WWI, once in 1905, again from 1907-1910, studying at the Académie Julian under Jean-Paul Laurens, and finally from 1912-1913 sketching in France and Italy. It was during this last trip that Jackson produced a number of sketches in Venice. This work is typical of that period, offering a close-up view of a palace façade, with the waters of the canal rippling in the immediate foreground.