After Joseph Mallord William Turner Vincennes, engraved by William Miller 1835

Artwork details

Artist
Title
Vincennes, engraved by William Miller
Date 1835
Medium Line engraving on paper
Dimensions Image: 77 x 80 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1987
Reference
T04973
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Display caption

One of the excursions Turner made from Paris in 1832 was to the ancient château of Vincennes. The vignette he afterwards worked up for the Scott series depicts one of the most ignominious moments in Napoleon's reign. This occurred in 1804, when one of the Emperor's aristocratic opponents, the Duke of Enghien, was brought back from exile to Vincennes. He was then summarily tried and executed. This event was widely considered a blot on Napoleon's career, and was the subject of continuing controversy at the time Turner made his vignette. He was, however, not fully apprised of the details of the execution, for he shows it taking place on the wrong side of the château, and dramatically compressed the architecture he had studied on the spot.

June 1999

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