View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
- After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
- Aquatint on paper
- Image: 130 x 189 mm
- Purchased 1988
T05198 Tours, Looking Backwards engr. F.C. Lewis
Aquatint 130 × 189 (5 1/8 × 7 7/16) on wove paper 299 × 451 (11 15/16 × 17 3/4); plate-mark 216 × 280 (8 1/2 × 11)
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.831, engraver's proof
This plate by F.C. Lewis is based on a watercolour in the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven (Wilton 1979, no.940). The same watercolour was also published as a steel-engraving by Richard Wallis for Turner's Annual Tour -- the Loire, 1833 (Rawlinson II 1913, no.442; see T04688). The date of Lewis's engraving is not known, as the print was never published. However, it seems most likely to have been made around the mid- to late-1820s, this being the period when Turner's original water-colour was executed and when Turner and Lewis were at the height of their collaboration (see under T04821).
Another aquatint after a Loire watercolour by Turner, ‘Promenade on the Ramparts of Nantes’ (Rawlinson II 1913, no.832), was embarked on by Lewis at about the same time but not published. Perhaps Turner originally considered publishing his drawings of French rivers as aquatints, then abandoned the idea when Charles Heath proposed volumes illustrated with steel-engravings (see under T04678-T04726).
A touched impression of this print is in a private collection in the UK. An original metal plate entitled ‘Tours’ was listed in the catalogue of the first of the Turner sales at Christie's, 24–8 March 1873 (929), and sold to Colnaghi's for seven guineas. It is possible that the plate was for this print, although it seems more likely that it corresponds to a misidentified subject for Turner's ‘Little Liber’.
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996