Joseph Mallord William Turner

Barges; St-Florent-le-Vieil, Loire Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 170 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXLVIII 16 a

Catalogue entry

Turner filled the top half of this page with sketches of the sailed barges distinctive to the Loire Valley.1 A semi-legible note at the centre of the page records some manoeuvre of these vessels which Turner evidently found of interest. At the bottom of the page, inverted in relation to the sketches above, are featured distant views of the Benedictine abbey of St-Florent-le-Vieil on its hilltop overlooking the Loire. In subsequent years the artist returned to his sketches of St-Florent-le-Vieil with a view to finding material for engraved reproduction. This resulted in a print in Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France);2 see Tate impression T06209. There are several pages of studies of this location in this volume. A list of these is provided in the sketchbook introduction.

John Chu
April 2015

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, pp. 64–7
Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp.171–83.

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