Joseph Mallord William Turner

River Maine, Angers


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Watercolour, gouache and pen and watercolour on paper
Support: 130 × 183 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 94

Display caption

Turner made more sketches on blue paper at Angers than at either Nantes or Tours, but surprisingly seems to have developed only two in colour. This view from the right bank of the River Maine, looks downstream along the ruins of the Pont des Treilles, but omits the imposing chateau and cathedral on the opposite bank. The other colour subject is in the collection of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, where it was previously listed as a view of Arles. Turner perhaps restricted himself to these two colour works because of the scope of his set of engravings, which deals exclusively with the scenery along the Loire itself. (Some of the sketches of Angers on blue paper can be found in the showcase).

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

This vista looks south down the River Maine as it passes through Angers, with the ruins of the Pont des Treilles on the left-hand side of the scene and the Canal des Tanneries on the right. Turner specialist Ian Warrell has pointed out that Turner’s emphasis is on the labourers at the centre of the composition, who appear to be breaking up the bridge’s remaining masonry.1 The pencil sketch over which this colour study is built up may have been taken on the spot. 2 See the Introduction to this section for a list of comparable studies of the city.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.104.
Ibid. p.221 no.78.
Technical Notes:
The sheet belongs to a batch of dense blue paper with dark fibres used by Turner made by George Steart of Bally, Ellen and Steart at De Montault Mill, Coombe Down, Bath. 1
Ibid. p.238.
Inscribed in pencil with the note ‘CCLIX . 94’ in the bottom right-hand corner of the page. Stamped in black with the Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCLIX – 94’ in the centre of the page.

John Chu
March 2016

Read full Catalogue entry

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