Joseph Mallord William Turner

Grande Galerie, Palais du Louvre


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and graphite on paper
Support: 123 × 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLX 88

Display caption

After completing his journey up the Loire, Turner travelled by coach to Paris. He spent a few days there studying the buildings lining the banks of the Seine, perhaps contemplating a series of views of the city such as Frederick Nash had produced a few years earlier. This was probably also the occasion on which he made this and some other sketches of the interior of the Louvre, since his sketchbook includes notes relating to the top-lighting of the galleries. Furthermore, the blue paper is the same type as that used for many of the Loire images. Turner would have been especially interested in the new system of lighting, having only recently attempted to improve his own gallery on Queen Anne Street.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

This is one of three pencil sketches on blue paper that Turner made of the picture-lined Grand Galerie of the Louvre; see also Tate D24926 and D24961 (Turner Bequest CCLX 90, 125).1 It is not known which of the tours of Northern France he undertook in the later 1820s and early 1830s they depict, although the commencement of the blue paper drawings of this kind is particularly associated with the journey of 1826.2
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.216 no.29.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.28.
Inscribed in pencil with the note ‘O 235’ in the bottom left-hand corner.

John Chu
March 2016

Read full Catalogue entry

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