Although Turner appears to have made few preparations for his journey through France before leaving home, he must have acquired this map during the first part of his tour prior to his arrival in Brittany. He would have used it, rather than a guidebook, to identify the principal places (and the roads connecting them) in this most westerly province, which at that date had not been explored by other British artists. When his sketchbooks were not easily to hand Turner used both the front and back of the map to make outline sketches of local costume and some of the places he visited.
Gallery label, September 1997
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