after Joseph Mallord William Turner

Chateau de Blois, engraved by J. Ruskin and T. Lupton

published 1888

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Etching and mezzotint on paper
Image: 129 × 180 mm
Purchased 1988

Display caption

Ruskin owned many of the works engraved in Turner's Annual Tour, 1833, including the dramatic image of the Facade des Loges of the chateau at Blois. In 1861 he gave all but one of his Loire subjects to the university museums at Oxford and Cambridge, but this was not the end of his connection with the images. This is one of a couple of the Loire views that Ruskin etched for Modern Painters. It was produced in mezzotint with the assistance of Thomas Lupton, and appeared in the 1888 edition of Volume V. Strangely, it did not relate directly to the adjacent text, although Ruskin had some years earlier praised the realisation of twilight in Robert Wallis's print of the subject.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

T05199 Château de Blois engr. T. Lupton and J. Ruskin, first pub.1888

Mezzotint by Lupton with etched outlines by Ruskin 129 × 180 (5 1/16 × 7 1/16) on India paper laid on wove 204 × 286 (8 × 11 1/4); trimmed mainly within plate-mark.
Engraved inscriptions: ‘Drawn by J.M.W. Turner.’ below image b.l., ‘Engraved by T. Lupton.’ below image b.r., ‘Etched by J.Ruskin. | 85. Chateau de Blois.’ below image at centre
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1988
Prov: ...; N.W. Lott and H.J. Gerrish Ltd, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: John Ruskin, Modern Painters, v, 1888

An annotated impression of this print in a private collection in the UK states that it was intended for the first edition of the fifth volume of Ruskin's Modern Painters (1860), but that it was not published by George Allen, it appears as illustration no. 85 between pages 155 and 157. Like the impression catalogued here, the published one is printed on India paper laid on wove. The engraving appears in exactly the same position in the fifth volume of George Allen's 1900 edition of Modern Painters as well, though this time printed simply on wove. It can therefore be assumed that the impression catalogued here comes from the 1888 edition; and the way in which the page has been trimmed indicates that it has probably been taken directly from a bound copy.

The original watercolour by Turner on which this print is based is in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Wilton 1979, no.934). It was once in the collection of John Ruskin himself, who provided the etched outlines for the print.

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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