Joseph Mallord William Turner

Folies Siffait; Tower of Oudon; Champtoceaux, 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 13

Catalogue entry

The landscape sketch second from the top of this page depicts the elaborate riverside garden structures newly-built on the estate of the architect Maximilen Siffait, known as the Folies Siffait. The tower at the centre of the page is a fourteenth-century fortress located in the nearby settlement of Oudon. The two views at the bottom of the page show the ruined castle at Champtoceaux on the opposite bank of the River Loire. There are several pages of studies of these sites in this volume. A list of these is provided in the sketchbook introduction. In 1829, Turner exhibited an oil painting entitled The Banks of the Loire (Worcester Art Museum, Massachusetts) at the Royal Academy which incorporated the buildings of the Folies Siffait.1 In subsequent years the artist returned to his sketches of Champtoceaux 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) mistitled Château Hamelin;2 see Tate impression T04693.

John Chu
April 2015

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.181, 183 reproduced
Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp.171–83.

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