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 89

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the bottom half of this page with a view of the town of Melun, located some twenty-eight miles south-east of central Paris on the banks of the Seine. The two towers of the Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame are featured prominently in the centre of the page, rising above the surrounding buildings. 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. A second landscape view, inverted in relation to the sketch of Melun, is featured along the top edge of the page.

John Chu
January 2015

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