Joseph Mallord William Turner

St-Florent-le-Vieil, Loire Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 170 × 110 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXLVIII 18

Catalogue entry

Turner filled this page with studies of the Benedictine abbey of St-Florent-le-Vieil on its hilltop overlooking the Loire. The drawings on the bottom half of the page, which are inverted in relation to those above, make particular study of the abbey’s architecture and its relation to the surrounding buildings. In subsequent years the artist returned to his sketches of St-Florent-le-Vieil with a view to finding material for engraved reproduction. This resulted in a print in Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France);1 see Tate impression T06209. There are several pages of studies of this location in this volume. A list of these is provided in the sketchbook introduction.
Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp.171–83.
The page is inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink with the number ‘30’ in the bottom left-hand corner and the number ‘355’ in the top right-hand corner. These are inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated.

John Chu
April 2015

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