Joseph Mallord William Turner

St-Florent-le-Vieil; Varades, 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 19

Catalogue entry

Turner filled much of this page with studies of the Benedictine abbey of St-Florent-le-Vieil on its hilltop overlooking the Loire. 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. The vista second from the bottom has been identified as the settlement of Varades on the opposite bank of Loire from St-Florent-le-Vieil with its imposing Château de la Madeleine.2 Turner later made a colour study on blue paper of this subject; see Tate D24656 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 91).

John Chu
April 2015

Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp.171–83.
Warrell, London 1997, p. 234.

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