Joseph Mallord William Turner

Basilique Saint-Denis, Paris

1832

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

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 175 x 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24467
Turner Bequest CCLVII 153

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the upper left-hand quadrant of this page with a study of Saint-Denis, located some five miles north of central Paris. The basilica’s western face, with its north tower still intact, appears at the end of the nearby street. A second view of the church rising above surrounding rooftops runs down the right-hand edge of the page. Architectural ornaments have been drawn along the bottom edge of the page. This volume includes several studies of this edifice, a list of which is included in the sketchbook Introduction. For the watercolour of the subject which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24686 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 121). This led to an illustration in the 1835 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impression T04715.

John Chu
January 2015

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