Joseph Mallord William Turner

Saint-Cyr-l’École, 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
D24216
Turner Bequest CCLVII 26

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with a views of the environs of Saint-Cyr-l’École, located some twelve miles south-west of central Paris. When these drawings were made, the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, founded by Napoleon in 1802, was housed in the grand building seen here at the centre of the lower sketch. Turner made numerous sketches of this area in the present volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook Introduction. The existence of these studies suggests that Turner considered Saint-Cyr-l’École as a subject for an illustration for a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36) although it was not included in the publication in the event.1

John Chu
January 2015

1
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London 1908, vol.II, pp.264–76 nos.453–92, 288–92 nos.525–39.

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