Joseph Mallord William Turner

Tours, Loire Valley


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 103 × 153 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXLIX 10

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with drawings of Tours. At the centre of the page can be seen the ruins of the bridge of Eudes with the cathedral rising in the distance.1 Above this is a smaller study of the right bank of the Loire looking in the direction of the eighteenth-century bridge. This is one of a substantial number of pages featuring sketches of the city and its environs in this volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook introduction. Turner subsequently used these drawings as the basis for multiple colour studies and finished watercolours on blue paper with a view to engraved reproduction; see especially Tate D20256 (Turner Bequest CCXXI W). These culminated in four printed illustrations for Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France);2 see Tate impressions T04685–T04688.

John Chu
May 2015

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, pp.223, 236.
Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp.171–83.

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