after Joseph Mallord William Turner

Vincennes, engraved by William Miller


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Not on display

After Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Line engraving on paper
Image: 77 × 80 mm
Purchased 1987

Display caption

One of the excursions Turner made from Paris in 1832 was to the ancient château of Vincennes. The vignette he afterwards worked up for the Scott series depicts one of the most ignominious moments in Napoleon's reign. This occurred in 1804, when one of the Emperor's aristocratic opponents, the Duke of Enghien, was brought back from exile to Vincennes. He was then summarily tried and executed. This event was widely considered a blot on Napoleon's career, and was the subject of continuing controversy at the time Turner made his vignette. He was, however, not fully apprised of the details of the execution, for he shows it taking place on the wrong side of the château, and dramatically compressed the architecture he had studied on the spot.

Gallery label, June 1999

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Catalogue entry

[from] Scott's Prose Works pub.1834–6 [T04727-T04763; T04961-T04994; complete]

Thirty-four line-engravings by various engravers, comprising thirty-four subjects out of a total of forty; various sizes
Purchased (Grant-in-Aid) 1987
Prov: ...; Waltham Abbey Historical Trust, from whom bt by Tate Gallery
Lit: As for T04727-T04763 above

For details of the series see introduction to T04727-T04763. The engravings in this set were all bought unmounted from the Waltham Abbey Historical Trust, along with impressions from Scott's Poetical Works (see introduction to T04947-T04960).

The engravers responsible for the plates in this group were: William Miller (1796–1882), who executed the majority of the plates, John Horsburgh (1791–1869), who produced seven plates in this group, William Richardson (active 1836–77) and Edward Goodall (1795–1870), who each produced one plate.

T04973 Vincennes engr. W. Miller, pub.1835

Line-engraving, vignette, approx. 77 × 83 (3 × 3 1/4) on India paper laid on wove paper 436 × 299 (17 3/16 × 11 1/4); plate-mark 210 × 151 (8 1/4 × 5 15/16)
Inscribed in pencil in unidentified hand ‘Vincennes | death of Duc d'Enghien | [?under] Life of Napoleon’. Engraved inscriptions as on T 04964 but with publication line ‘Edinburgh, Published 1835, by Robert Cadell, & Hodgson, Boys & Graves London.’ below image at bottom centre
Lit: Rawlinson II 1913, no.531, first published state

Published: Vol.XI, 1835, Life of Napoleon, title-page vignette. Original watercolour: untraced (Wilton 1979, no.1108).

Published in:
Tate Gallery: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions 1986-88, London 1996

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