Joseph Mallord William Turner

Melun, Île-de-France


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 16 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with cursory sketches of riverside scenery and architectural ornaments. As identified by a note towards the bottom left-hand corner, the long arched bridge drawn along the bottom half of the page belongs to the town of Melun, located some twenty-eight miles south-east of central Paris on the banks of the Seine. Turner made several sketches of Melun in the present volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook Introduction. For the watercolour of the town which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24690 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 125). This led to an illustration in the 1835 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impression T04725. The details of classical architectural ornamentation dotted around the upper half of the page may belong to the palace of Versailles, which features prominently in this part of the sketchbook, as outlined in the sketchbook Introduction.

John Chu
January 2015

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