JMW Turner 1775-1851
The Disembarkation of Louis-Philippe at Portsmouth, 8 October 1844 c.1844-5
Oil paint on canvas
Tate. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner visited Portsmouth to record the arrival of the French king, who was on a State Visit. He made numerous sketches of the event and also painted two unfinished oils: one showing the king’s arrival, the other his disembarkation. Both are principally concerned with the atmosphere of the occasion, concentrating on the crowd of onlookers. Turner had met Louis-Philippe when the king was living in exile at Twickenham in the 1810s. Contact between them was renewed in the mid-1830s and he was invited to dine with him at his château at Eu in 1845.