After completing his journey up the Loire, Turner travelled by coach to Paris. He spent a few days there studying the buildings lining the banks of the Seine, perhaps contemplating a series of views of the city such as Frederick Nash had produced a few years earlier. This was probably also the occasion on which he made this and some other sketches of the interior of the Louvre, since his sketchbook includes notes relating to the top-lighting of the galleries. Furthermore, the blue is the same type as that used for many of the Loire images. Turner would have been especially interested in the new system of lighting, having only recently attempted to improve his own gallery on Queen Anne Street.
Gallery label, September 2004