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Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict the seventeenth-century Porte Saint-Denis, located amidst the Parisian right-bank boulevards. The Porte Saint-Martin can also be made out in the background while, at street level, the bustle of the city is rendered in delicate strokes of ochre. Art historian Ian Warrell has identified two drawings in the Paris and Environs sketchbook of a similar date as the basis for this composition: see Tate D24249 (Turner Bequest CCLVII 42a) and D24494 (Turner Bequest CCLIII 167).1 The existence of the present colour study suggests that Turner considered the subject as an illustration for Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France)2 although the Porte Saint-Denis did not make it into this publication in the event.
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.