Joseph Mallord William Turner

St-Germain-en-Laye: View from the Terrace towards Maisons-Lafitte

?1827–9

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Pen and ink, graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 100 × 282 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24896
Turner Bequest CCLX 60

Catalogue entry

This sheet is one of a series of sketches associated with a tour of the Seine with a proposed dating of 1827–9. The studies are characterised by the use of pen and ink on blue paper; for more information see the Introduction to this section.
The study is one of a small group catalogued within this section to have been made in a panoramic format, with each sheet measuring around 9.5 by 28 cm. For other studies in this format see Tate D24893–D24895, D24899–D24900, D24904–D24905 (Turner Bequest CCLX 57–59, 63–64, 68–69). As Ian Warrell has noted, while the popularity of the panoramic format during Turner’s day may at first glance make this appear unsurprising, it was format Turner rarely used; other exceptions include some of Turner’s depictions of Petworth.1 Turner possessed a copy of Thomas Girtin’s Twenty Views of Paris, and it seems very possible that the panoramic format Seine studies took some heed of them.2
Warrell noted that this study appears to have been made from the same spot as another catalogued in this section, Tate D24895 (Turner Bequest CCLX 59).3 While this study appears to show the view looking downriver and northwards, the other looks upstream, towards the aqueduct. In both views figures can be seen in the foreground, taking in the view. In a comic touch, the couple seen looking over the wall in the present study are joined in their pose by a dog who is, by contrast, unable to see over it.
For other views of St-Germain believed to date from the same visit, see Tate D24893 and D24904 (Turner Bequest CCLX 57 and 68).
1
Warrell 1999, p.33.
2
Ibid, p.34.
3
Ibid, p.34.
Verso:
According to Warrell the verso is inscribed ‘The Terrace. St. Germain’ and, by Ruskin, ‘75’1; the sheet has since been laid down on heavy paper and the verso could not be examined at the time of cataloguing.

Elizabeth Jacklin
October 2018

1
Ibid, p.267.

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