Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Sail-boat; ?Pont de Bercy, Paris

1832

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 174 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D41070

Catalogue entry

Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the faint drawing in the top right-hand corner of this page depicts a small sail-boat with its sail unfurled. Such vessels are a recurrent presence in the watercolours of the Seine which Turner worked up around this time with a view to engraved reproduction. For an example of this kind of colour study in the Turner Bequest, see Tate D24727 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 162). The rest of the page is taken up with sketchy descriptions of buildings and bridges, presumably taken at Paris. Running vertically down the left-hand side of the page is a suspension bridge with substantial buildings beyond. This may depict the new bridge that crossed the river at Bercy, opened in early 1832 by Louis-Philippe, King of the French.

John Chu
July 2014

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