Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rotonde de La Villette, Paris


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 49

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with a view taken at the northern edge of Paris. The cylindrical building rising above the rest of the scene on the right-hand side of the page is the neo-classical Rotonde de La Villette, constructed at as a customs building in the later eighteenth century. The foreground is taken up with part of the network of the associated canal basin, in this case apparently dry. Turner made several sketches of the quayside commerce of Paris in the present volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook Introduction. For the watercolours of the city’s watersides 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.

John Chu
January 2015

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