Joseph Mallord William Turner

The River Seine at St-Cloud with the Lanterne de Démosthène and the Pont de Sèvres in the Distance


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 x 185 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CLXXIII 10

Catalogue entry

Turner made a short detour from Paris, following the River Seine south-west to St-Cloud. This sketch depicts a view of the river at St-Cloud with the tree-lined road beside the river bank on the right, and the distant Pont de Sèvres visible upstream (north) on the left. The hill to the right slopes upwards towards the Château de St-Cloud, identifiable from the tall tower at the summit known as the Lanterne de Démosthène.1 This monument, built by Napoleon, would later become the subject of an illustration for Turner’s Annual Tour, 1835: Wanderings by the Seine (see Tate D24697; Turner Bequest CCLIX 132).2 Like the château, the lantern was destroyed by the Prussians during the Siege of Paris in 1870.
A small part of the composition spills over onto the opposite sheet of the double-page spread, see folio 9 verso (D14007). For further sketches of St-Cloud see folios 6 and 12 (D14001 and D14011).

Nicola Moorby
March 2013

First identified in Guillaud, Alfrey, Wilton and others 1981, pp.107–8.
For a full discussion see Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp.18–19, 225–8.

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