Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict the landscape around Saint-Cloud and Sèvres, located some seven miles west of central Paris on the banks of the Seine. The scene is framed on the left-hand side by trees and small buildings while, down in the valley, two long, arched bridges traverse the river. Sketches of these riverside landmarks recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook and presumably contributed to the conception of this colour study. For lists of these sketchbook drawings, see the entry for Tate D23914 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 17a). For the finished watercolours of this stretch of river which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24688 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 123), D24689 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 124), and D24697 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 132). All this activity culminated in three engravings in the 1835 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France), and a further engraved illustration for a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36); see Tate impressions T04739, T05618, T05619, and T05620.
The painted surface has suffered considerable losses, exposing extensive patches of blue paper across the sheet. The verso of the sheet is attached to its mount.