Joseph Mallord William Turner

Saumur; Cave Dwelling, Loire Valley

1826

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 110 x 170 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D23238
Turner Bequest CCXLVIII 45

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled most of this page with studies of Saumur on the banks of the River Loire. The towered castle can be clearly seen at the top of the page. The crenelated structure in the upper right-hand quadrant has been identified as the Tour Papegault.1There are several pages of studies of Saumur in this volume which are listed in the sketchbook introduction. Turner subsequently worked up these sketches into colour studies on blue paper with a view to engraved reproduction. These culminated in two prints: one published in The Keepsake annual (1831) and the other in Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France);2 see Tate impressions T05107 and T04689.
In the bottom right-hand corner of the page is part of a sketch of one the cave dwellings which are a particular feature of Saumurois countryside. This drawing continues onto folio 44 verso opposite (D23237; Turner Bequest CCXLVIII 44a). Several pages in this volume feature these distinctive habitations; a list of these drawings is included in the sketchbook introduction. Turner subsequently worked up a colour study of one of these caves on blue paper; see Tate D23240 (Turner Bequest CCXLVIII 46).

John Chu
April 2015

1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p. 235.
2
Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp. 164–6, 171–83.

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