Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lanterne de Démosthène at Saint-Cloud, Île-de-France; ?Holiday-Makers


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 x 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 23 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the drawing at the top of this page depicts the panoramic view across the Seine valley as seen from the Château de Saint-Cloud some seven miles west of central Paris.1 This location is given away by the description of the Lanterne de Démosthène on the left-hand side of the scene which was a Napoleonic folly erected within the palace pleasure grounds. Cursorily drawn groups of figures and a dark, cloud-like tree fill the foreground. The figures at the bottom of the page, inverted in relation to the sketch above, may have been drawn at the same location. On special Sundays each September, large numbers of visitors massed at Saint-Cloud for an annual fair during which time the interior of the chateau was opened up and the garden fountains turned on.2 Certainly, crowds of holiday-makers feature prominently in the watercolour depicting the Lanterne which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time; see Tate D24697 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 132).
A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring Saint-Cloud is provided in the entry for folio 17 verso (D23914; Turner Bequest CCLIV 17a).

John Chu
July 2014

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp.54, 243–6.
Ibid., p.55.

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