Joseph Mallord William Turner

St Pierre’s Cottage, for Rogers’s ‘Poems’

c.1830–2

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 238 x 303 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D27700
Turner Bequest CCLXXX 183

Catalogue entry

This vignette, St Pierre’s Cottage, also commonly known as Jacqueline’s Cottage, was engraved by Edward Goodall and published in the 1834 edition of Rogers’s Poems, as one of three illustrations for a poem entitled, ‘Jacqueline’.1 It appears as the head-piece to Part II of the poem, above the following lines:
The day was in the golden west;
And, curtained close by leaf and flower,
The doves had cooed themselves to rest
In Jacqueline’s deserted bower
...
That casement, underneath the trees,
Half open to the western breeze,
Looked down, enchanting Garonnelle,
Thy wild and mulberry-shaded dell,
Round which the Alps of Piedmont rose,
The blush of sunset on their snows
(Rogers, Poems, pp.145–6)
Turner marked the last few lines with pencil in the margin of his own copy of the 1827 edition of Poems (see Tate D36330; Turner Bequest CCCLXVI pp.169–70) and his subsequent illustration provides an attentive rendering of Rogers’s description of a small cottage at the foot of the Piedmontese Alps. The eponymous heroine Jacqueline appears on the far left-hand side of the composition, accompanied by a small red deer mentioned in an earlier part of the poem and also present in another of Turner’s illustrations, Valombrè (see Tate D27702; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 185). Both watercolours are remarkable for their shimmering palette and delicate execution. The third scene accompanying the poem is St Julienne’s Chapel (see Tate D27703; Turner Bequest CCLXXX 186).
Turner’s concern with even the subtlest features of his illustrations can been seen in the annotations he made on an early touched proof of the engraved version of the design (Yale Center for British Art).2 The artist rounded out the top of the composition with clouds and instructed Goodall to soften the sky so that it faded ‘away to nothing’.3
1
Samuel Rogers, Poems, London 1834, p.146; W.G. Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., vol.II, London 1913, no.388. There are no impressions of this engraving in Tate’s collection.
2
B1977.14.7338.
3
See also Lee 1993, p.33.
Verso:
Inscribed by unknown hands in pencil ‘23’ top centre left and ’22 | b’ centre and ‘CCLXXX 183’ bottom centre. Also in red ink ‘1627’ bottom left
Stamped in black ‘CCLXXX 183’ lower centre

Meredith Gamer
August 2006

Read full Catalogue entry

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