Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sheep Below the Walls of the Château, Saumur

c.1826–8

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Watercolour, gouache and pen and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 127 × 183 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24582
Turner Bequest CCLIX 17

Catalogue entry

This depiction of sheep being herded along a narrow path beneath the walls of the Château de Saumuris one of several colour studies of this town which Turner worked up from his 1826 tour of the Loire Valley. The subject was identified by Turner specialist Ian Warrell, who recognised the Tour de Papegault on the left-hand side of the scene. It is freely based on a pencil sketch he made in the Nantes, Angers and Saumur sketchbook; see entry for Tate D40689 (Turner Bequest CCXLVIII Inside Back Cover). See the Introduction to this section for a list of comparable studies of the town.
Technical Notes:
The sheet belongs to a batch of blue paper with black fibres used by Turner made by George Steart of Bally, Ellen and Steart at De Montault Mill, Coombe Down, Bath.1
1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, Ibid. p.238.
Verso:
The sheet is fully obscured by the mount on the verso. A note on the mount documents that the verso is inscribed with the note ‘109’.

John Chu
March 2016

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