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 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the upper half of this page with drawings of Tours. At the centre of the page can be seen a distant views the ruins of the bridge of Eudes and the Pont de Tours.1 In the upper right-hand corner is a small study of the right bank of the Loire with the Church of Saint-Symphorien. 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 D24712 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 147). 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.
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.
Technical notes:
There are dark brown marks in the lower left-hand quadrant.

John Chu
May 2015

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