Joseph Mallord William Turner

Palais du Louvre, Paris; Melun, Île-de-France

1832

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 175 × 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24283
Turner Bequest CCLVII 60

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the central section of this page with a view of the large buildings that line the right bank of the Seine as it flows through Paris. To the right-hand side, the east front of the Louvre can be seen in steep perspective while the tower of the Church of Saint-Germain l’Auxerrois rises above surrounding structures to the right. Turner made several sketches of the riverside in the present volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook Introduction. For the watercolours of the city’s quaysides which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24683–D24685 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 118–20). These culminated in several engravings 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 impressions T05621–T05623.
The smaller views of a town with a long bridge at the bottom and top of the page was taken at Melun, located some thirty miles south-east of central Paris. For a list of the sketches which Turner made in this riverside town, see 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.

John Chu
January 2015

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