Joseph Mallord William Turner

Grand Trianon, Versailles


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 175 × 127 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLVII 34 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with drawings of the large pleasure pavilion known as the Grand Trianon at the Palace of Versailles, located some twelve miles south-west of central Paris. The building is characterised by a continuous balustrade along the roofline and a single-storey facade divided by alternating arches and columns, which are both recorded here. Turner made numerous sketches of the Versailles palace complex in the present volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook Introduction. The existence of so many studies suggests that Turner considered Versailles as a subject for an illustration for a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36) although it was not included in the publication in the event.1

John Chu
January 2015

W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London 1908, vol.II, pp.264–76 nos.453–92, 288–92 nos.525–39.

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