Joseph Mallord William Turner

Villages, Northern France

1832

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 175 x 127 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24393
Turner Bequest CCLVII 115

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled the top half of this page with wide landscapes views punctuated by architectural structures, including a needle-like spire. Semi-legible notes on the right-hand side of the page are presumably place names identifying the scenes depicted. Turner travelled extensively around the satellite settlements of Paris with this sketchbook and also up the River Marne to the east of the city, so these scenes were probably captured in one of those regions. Art historian Ian Warrell has suggested that the inscriptions towards the top right-hand corner of the page are misspellings of Vitry, situating these scenes to the settlement of Vitry-le-François in the Marne valley.1

John Chu
January 2015

1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.256 note 222.

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