Joseph Mallord William Turner

Blois, Loire Valley


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 103 x 153 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXLIX 20 a

Display caption

This book charts Turner's journey from a little to the west of Tours, up the River Loire to Orleans, and concludes with a group of studies in Paris. Tne focus of Turner's investigations wherever he stopped tended to be the distinctive architectural features. Thus at Blois he made sketches of the elegant bridge and the Renaissance facade of the great chateau. As is the case in the sketches displayed here, his observations were sometimes generalised, so that when he came to develop them in colour, he was also dependent on his memory and his knowledge of architectural logic. However, the view he developed of the Facade des Loges (no.124) ignored the asymmetry that adds such character to the actual building.

Gallery label, August 2004

Does this text contain inaccurate information or language that you feel we should improve or change? We would like to hear from you.

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with studies of the buildings Blois. In the upper half of the page is featured the chateau’s Façade des Loges. Below is a drawing of the Church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul. This is one of a substantial number of pages featuring sketches of the city and its environs, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook introduction. Turner subsequently returned to these drawings as part of a search for subjects for engraved reproduction. This culminated in two printed illustrations for Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France);1 see Tate impressions T04681, T04682.

John Chu
May 2015

Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp.171–83.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like