Joseph Mallord William Turner

(a) A Woman Wearing Local Costume; (b) ?A Boat; (c) Three Sketches of a Steamer, Possibly the ‘Maine’, (Left to Right) Retreating, Advancing, and in Profile; (d) Two Loire Barges


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Graphite on paper
Support: 170 x 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXLVIII 17 a

Display caption

The first half of this sketchbook charts Turner's voyage up the Loire from Nantes to Angers, a journey he made on one of the new steamers that had begun to work the river a couple of years before his visit. His sketches generally fall in neat rows down each page, indicating how he struggled to observe and record each new profile of the passing points of interest. On this opening he studied the abbey-church at St-Florent-le-Vieil, later developing two blue paper studies from the sketches (nos.71 and 114). St-Florent came at the middle of his day's journey, and it was at this point that his steamer would have passed its sister ship coming down the river from Angers.

Gallery label, September 2004