Joseph Mallord William Turner

View on the Seine between Mantes and Vernon (Rolleboise on the Road from Bonnieres)


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 143 × 194 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 114

Display caption

The published title for this work specifies only the two towns between which the scene lies, suggesting either that Turner was unsure of the name of the place he had depicted, or alternatively that it was of less importance than his desire to recreate a general impression of the route running along beside the Seine. However, on the back of the sheet an inscription attempts to identify the location as 'Beaupiare', presumably a mistaken recollection of the village of Bonnières. The plunging perspective was something Turner had utilised in his paintings of the 1820s, but for which he may here have been indebted to Hobbema's famous picture of *The Avenue, Middleharnis* (National Gallery), which was on the market in the early 1830s.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

By Robert Brandard in 1834, published in 1835.
In this watercolour, Turner depicts a route along the River Seine, between the towns of Mantes1 and Vernon, and further specified as the town of Bonnières,2 in northern France. With his skilful use of perspective, the road stretches back into the distance, lined with white buildings along the right and trees and water on the left. Sunlight is portrayed shining from the left. Its rays create a subtle sheen on the water, stream through the trees to form long shadows on the road, highlight the edges of the picnic table and women’s dresses, and hit the buildings on the right. The scene is one of quiet enjoyment; on a sunny day, carriages ramble and people in fine white dresses and black suits walk along the avenue, others at left bring provisions from stalls for a picnic table.
There does not appear to be an identifiable preliminary sketch.
An engraving was made of this watercolour by Robert Brandard in 1834 as View on the Seine between Mantes and Vernon (Tate impressions T05614 and T06249) for the volume Wanderings by the Seine of 1835.3 The reflection of the sun in the water at left is highlighted in the engraving.
There are related inscriptions on the verso (D40110).

Caroline South
November 2017

Either Mantes-la-Jolie or neighbouring Mantes-la-Ville.
Warrell 1999, p.276.
Leitch Ritchie, Wanderings by the Seine, London, Paris and Berlin 1835, opposite p.96.

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