Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Grande Cascade and Château at Saint-Cloud, Île-de-France


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 175 x 127 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLVII 129

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with small drawings of the Château de Saint-Cloud and its garden, located some seven miles west of central Paris on the banks of the Seine. Towards the bottom left-hand corner is included a description of the Grand Cascade that tumbles down towards the river through formal parterres; a cursory view of the lost palace’s monumental façade, meanwhile, occupies the centre of the page. The numbers inscribed towards the top right-hand corner probably refer the number of windows featured on the neighbouring architectural sketches. For examples of the watercolours of the environs of Saint-Cloud which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24688 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 123), D24689 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 124), and D24697 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 132). These culminated in three engravings in the 1835 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France), and a further engraved illustration for a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36); see Tate T04739, T05618, T05619, and T05620. A list of pages in the present volume featuring Saint-Cloud is provided in the sketchbook Introduction.

John Chu
January 2015

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