This view of the Théâtre and Place Graslin as seen from the Rue de Breda Gresset is one of several depictions of Nantes in gouache and watercolour on blue paper which Turner worked up after his 1826 visit to the city.1 The balustrade on the left-hand side of the scene was invented by Turner and the Italianate tower is depicted on the wrong side of the theatre. The work is based on pencil sketches in the Morlaise to Nantes and Nantes, Angers and Saumur sketchbooks; see entry for Tate D23089 (Turner Bequest CCXLVII 48) and D23151 (Turner Bequest CCXLVIII 1).2 See the Introduction to this section for a list of comparable studies of the city.
The sheet is laid down onto a sheet of cream paper on the verso. This is inscribed in pencil with the notes ‘CCLIX – 8’ and ‘14’ in the centre. Stamped in black with the Turner Bequest monogram and with ‘CCLIX – 8’ in the bottom left-hand corner.