Joseph Mallord William Turner

Saint-Denis, Île-de-France; Epernay, Northern 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 154 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the most of with page with studies of landscape views punctuated by buildings. The sketches in the lower half of the page are inverted in relation to those above. The uppermost drawing and the one second from bottom depict the Basilique Saint-Denis as seen from the River Seine, located some five miles north of central Paris. This volume includes several studies of this edifice, a list of which is included in the sketchbook Introduction. For the watercolour of the subject which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24686 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 121). 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 T04715. A note beneath the sketch second from the top locates the scene to Epernay, eighty miles to the east of Paris, which Turner also visited on the 1832 tour.

John Chu
January 2015

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