Joseph Mallord William Turner

Studies from Claude in the Louvre


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 123 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLVIII 34

Catalogue entry

This is one of four pages of the sketchbook dedicated to notes and copies of paintings in the Louvre, mainly by Claude Lorrain (1600–1682); see folio 19 verso (Tate D24536; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 19a) for references.
The sketch at the top of the page is based on Claude’s Seaport with the Embarkation of Ulysses (Port de Mer, Effet de Brume), c.1646 (Musée du Louvre). It is inscribed with letter and numbers signifying colours that relate to Turner’s notes, transcribed below:
Sky greenish Blue, warm yet pale at the Sun behind the Tower, rays passing between | their tones cold One tower green and | Bluish grey, the light part green with | red below, a charming tone The terrace | more of a mix of Brown This g. tone | is greenish tho warm the sea | of a luminous green shadow only | strong in the mass at the sides and | to relieve the Buildings. The lights | on the Col. whiter than sky The entab[lature] | warm the terrace warm Y 2 tone | figures shaded by col., ex W 02 Red | are shades Ex R Mountains cold | and flat Ground Brown warm | and light the shadow of the figures | on it very faint their shadows | [?]n[ea]rly all brown relieving them and their Tones the mas | figures of brown and sharpness of P
The middle sketch is based on Seaport, with the Campidoglio (Vue d’un Port avec le Capitole), 1636 (Musée du Louvre). It is inscribed ‘Blue with w clouds’ and ‘yellow warm’ in the sky, ‘Buildings rather darker | tho very warm, not red’ above the buildings at the right, and ‘Brown and [?]shadow’ on the ground beneath the figures. Above the figures the sea is inscribed ‘Sea of w[hite]’. The area between the two groupings of figures is inscribed ‘Dark’, ‘o | x’ is inscribed near a figure at the lower right, and inscribed letters (‘R’, ‘GB’, ‘RG’, ‘RS’ and ‘B’) represent colours in the picture. Turner notes:
The Buildings are | warm brown and | their shadow warm | tho colder than | the ground which | has a rich green | dispersed about it | The crockery white | edged with Blue | and warm brown | Pitcher and | Trunks and Musical [...]’ Beneath is the note ‘o x the [?]formerly | figures a lights.

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

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