Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Pont de Sèvre, Île-de-France


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 18

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with sketches of the Pont de Sèvres, located at a bend in the Seine some seven and a half miles south-west of central Paris. 1 The stone arches of this Napoleonic construction recur three times across the page, most substantially across the central passages, where the river can be seen in the background flowing past the Île Seguin. Particular attention has been paid to the way in which buildings punctuate the wooded landscape while a carriage completes its passage over the bridge. For examples of the watercolours of the riverside landscape around Sèvres and Saint-Cloud which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24688 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 123), D24689 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 124), and D24697 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 132). These culminated in three engravings in the 1835 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France), and a further engraved illustration for a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–6); see Tate impressions T04739, T05618, T05619, and T05620.

John Chu
July 2014

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp.55, 223–8.

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