Joseph Mallord William Turner

Brienne-le-Château, Northern France


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

Graphite on paper
Support: 175 x 127 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLVII 94

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with views of riverside landscapes punctuated by buildings. A note beneath the top sketch locates the scene at the town of Brienne-le-Château, situated around one hundred miles east of Paris. The grand eighteenth-century country house near this town can be seen perched on a hill to the left-hand side of each view. Napoleon studied at the military academy close by so this site was of particular interest to the artist as he sought subjects to illustrate a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36). This drawing contributed one of the volume’s engraved illustrations; see Tate impression T04969. A list of pages in the present volume featuring this subject is provided in the sketchbook Introduction.

John Chu
January 2015

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