Joseph Mallord William Turner

Père-Lachaise Cemetery, Paris

1832

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 174 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D23922
Turner Bequest CCLIV 21 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with studies taken at the hillside Père-Lachaise Cemetery some two miles east of central Paris.1 On the right-hand side of the page are featured the neoclassical tombs typical of this relatively recent foundation (1804) while a panoramic vista of the city stretches off into the distance at the top. The two western towers of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame can be made out towards the top left-hand corner. Circles towards the bottom right-hand corner suggest groups of figures, possibly gathered to visit the tombs of famous Napoleonic generals at the cemetery. The many studies of Père-Lachaise in this sketchbook culminated in an engraved illustration for a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–6); see Tate impression T04744.
A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring Père-Lachaise is provided in the entry for folio 24 verso (D23928; Turner Bequest 24a).

John Chu
July 2014

1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp.54, 243–6.

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