View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
- After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
- Line engraving on paper
- Image: 124 x 90 mm
- Purchased 1986
[from] Turner's Annual Tour, 1833: Wanderings by the Loire pub.1833 [T04678-T04697; complete]
Twenty line-engravings by various engravers, comprising twenty subjects out of a total of twenty-one; various sizes; most stamped with Turner studio blind stamp on bottom edge of image
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1986
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Leitch Ritchie, Turner's Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire, 1833; The Rivers of France, 1837 (reprinted with an introduction by Eric Shanes, 1990); Leitch Ritchie, Liber Fluviorum: With a Biographical Sketch by Alaric A. Watts, 1853; M.B. Huish, The Seine and the Loire, 1895; Turner en France, exh. cat., Centre culturel du Marais, Paris 1981
In 1833 Charles Heath, publisher of Picturesque Views in England and Wales (see T04503-T04612 and T05081-T05104) and of some of the popular ilustrated annuals such as The Keepsake (see T04614-T04630), advertised a new publication: ‘On June 1 will appear, elegantly bound, price One Guinea, TURNER'S ANNUAL TOUR; or, RIVER SCENERY OF EUROPE; containing twenty-one Plates, from Drawings by J.M.W. Turner, Esq. R.A. Engraved by the first Artists, under the superintendence of Mr. CHARLES HEATH...’. The advertised volume was published by Longmans under the title Turner's Annual Tour, 1833: Wanderings by the Loire, and featured twenty-one plates after Turner.
The advertisement had referred to the project under the general title of ‘River Scenery of Europe’, implying that the Loire views were conceived only as a fragment of a much larger project. However, the only other volumes which ever appeared featuring illustrations after designs by Turner were two further volumes issued by Longmans devoted to Wanderings by the Seine, with publication dates of 1834 and 1835 respectively (see T04698-T04707 and T04708-T04726 below). Being ‘annuals’, they and the Loire volume would actually have appeared in the autumns of the previous years so as to catch the Christmas market. All three volumes were accompanied by descriptive text written by Leitch Ritchie, a journalist whom Heath had employed for his Picturesque Annual and other publications. In 1837 the three volumes were issued under the general title, The Rivers of France, by which they are more widely known. There were further reprintings in 1853 and 1895, details of which are given under the ‘literature’ section which appears under the main catalogue entry for each volume.
The finished designs by Turner for this project are all executed in bodycolour on small sheets of blue paper. Most of those for the Loire were once owned by Ruskin, and are now in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford (Wilton 1979, nos.930–50; see also Luke Herrmann, Ruskin and Turner, 1968, pp.71–80). Nearly all Turner's designs for the Seine remained in his possession, and are now in the Turner Bequest (Wilton 1979, nos.951–90). In 1839 Turner painted a further set of bodycolour designs on blue paper of scenery along the rivers Meuse and Mosel, either for his own pleasure or, perhaps, out of a desire, on his part or that of his publisher, that the ‘Rivers of Europe’ project should be resuscitated. However, these designs were never engraved. It seems likely that the market for such publications was reaching saturation point by the later 1830s (see Cecilia Powell, Turner's Rivers of Europe: The Rhine, Meuse and Mosel, exh. cat., Tate Gallery 1991, pp.45–6, 130–83).
The engravers responsible for the plates in the Loire group were Thomas Higham (1796–1844), Robert Brandard (1805–62), Robert Wallis (1794–1878), William Raymond Smith (active 1818–48), James Baylis Allen (1803–76), Thomas Jeavons (c. 1800–67), William Radclyffe (1783–1855), James Tibbetts Willmore (1800–63) and William Miller (1796–1882).
T04678 Nantes engr. W. Miller, pub.1833
Line-engraving, vignette, approx. 125 × 90 (4 15/16 × 3 9/16) on India paper laid on wove paper 440 × 302 (17 5/16 × 11 7/8); plate-mark 229 × 151 (9 × 5 15/16)
Inscribed: see below. Engraved inscriptions: ‘J.M.W. Turner, R.A.’ below image b.l., ‘W.Miller’ below image b.r., ‘Printed by McQueen’ lower right; Turner studio blindstamp
Prov: Artist's sale, Christie's 25 April 1873 (in 654–76)
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.432, first published state
Published: title-page. Original watercolour: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Wilton 1979, no.930). A pencil inscription on the lower edge, ‘1st pub. state ? different lettering’, questions Rawlinson's description of the engraved inscriptions for this state being italicised. The impression must nevertheless belong to the first published state.
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996