Joseph Mallord William Turner

Hôtel de Ville, Paris


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 175 x 127 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLVII 65 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the centre of this page with a sketch of the Hôtel de Ville and noted the presence of the newly built suspension bridge, the Pont d’Arcole, just to the right. Named after one of Napoleon’s military victories, this bridge was of particular interest to the artist as he sought subjects to illustrate a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36). There are multiple drawings of the Hôtel de Ville and the Pont d’Arcole in these pages, a list of which is included in the sketchbook Introduction. These formed the basis for one of the published book’s engraved vignettes; see Tate impression T04967.

John Chu
January 2015

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