Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Palais-Bourbon and Pont de la Concorde, Paris

1819

Not on display
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 x 185 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D13995
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 3

Catalogue entry

All of Turner’s 1819 Parisian sketches depict views of the city seen from the banks of the River Seine and this study is taken from the quayside known as Port de la Concorde on the right bank. Part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 2 verso (D13995). The vista looks up-river (east) towards the Pont de la Concorde with the Pont Royal just visible behind and the building on the right with the impressive classical portico is the Palais-Bourbon, now the seat of the French National Assembly.1 The palace dates from the early eighteenth century although the river façade had only recently been completed in 1809. Turner’s choice of prospect is similar, although not identical to one drawn by James Hakewill (1778–1843), his collaborator on the recent print project, Hakewill’s Picturesque Tour of Italy (published 1820).2
Further studies of the Pont de la Concorde and the Palais Bourbon can be found within sketchbooks used on later visits to Paris, see for example the Loire, Tours, Orleans and Paris sketchbook of 1826 (Tate D23307; Turner Bequest CCXLIX 31a), and the Paris and Environs sketchbook of 1832 (Tate D24172; Turner Bequest CCLVII 3). For a further discussion of Turner’s 1819 sketches of the city see folio 2 (D13993).

Nicola Moorby
February 2013

1
Tentatively suggested by Finberg and first conclusively identified in Guillaud, Alfrey, Wilton and others 1981, p.107. See also Warrell 1999, p.18.
2
See Hakewill’s 1817 drawing Paris. Pont royale and the Palais Bourbon (British School at Rome), reproduced in Tony Cubberley and Luke Herrmann, Twilight of the Grand Tour: A Catalogue of the Drawings by James Hakewill in the British School at Rome Library, Rome 1992, no.1.6, p.68. The title indicates that the bridge depicted is the Pont Royale, although this is surely an error and should say the Pont de la Concorde.

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