Joseph Mallord William Turner

Château de Blois, Loire Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour, gouache and pen and watercolour on paper
Support: 138 x 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 97

Display caption

Turner was already familiar with the general view of Blois from the west, having made a copy of another artist's design while still an adolescent (no.2). The view he produced many years later for his set of Loire scenes repeats this prospect of the town, adding the atmospheric detail of the rising harvest moon over the Loire. His other views were more firmly rooted in his own experience of the town, particularly his powerful studies of the Renaissance facade of the chateau, which hangs over the gardens below looking like a heavy ornamented jewel box.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

Turner made this colour study on blue paper of the lower part of the Façade des Loges of the Château de Blois after his 1826 tour of the River Loire. It is based mainly on a pencil study in the Loire, Tours, Orleans and Paris sketchbook; see entry for Tate D23286 (Turner Bequest CCXLIX 21). 1 The right-hand side of the composition terminates with a depiction of the Church of Saint-Nicholas-de-Paul which Turner has introduced from another location in the town. This is based on another pencil study in the same sketchbook; see entry for Tate D23285 (Turner Bequest CCXLIX 20a).2
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.223 no.90.
Technical Notes:
The sheet belongs to a batch of blue paper with red fibres used by Turner made by George Steart of Bally, Ellen and Steart at De Montault Mill, Coombe Down, Bath. Another sheet from the batch bears a watermark dated 1828. 1
Ibid. p.238.
Inscribed in pencil with the notes ‘1’ in the top left-hand corner of the sheet and ‘CCLIX . 97’ in the centre. Stamped in black with the Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCLIX 97’ in the centre of the sheet.

John Chu
March 2016

Read full Catalogue entry


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