J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Brienne-le-Château, Northern France 1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 94 Recto:
Brienne-le-Château, Northern France 1832
Turner Bequest CCLVII 94
Pencil on white laid paper, 175 x 127 mm
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘C[...]’ towards top left, ‘St Brienne Le Ville’ centre right
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘94’ top left and ‘2’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCLVII 94’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with views of riverside landscapes punctuated by buildings. A note beneath the top sketch locates the scene at the town of Brienne-le-Château, situated around one hundred miles east of Paris. The grand eighteenth-century country house near this town can be seen perched on a hill to the left-hand side of each view. Napoleon studied at the military academy close by so this site was of particular interest to the artist as he sought subjects to illustrate a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36). This drawing contributed one of the volume’s engraved illustrations; see Tate impression T04969. A list of pages in the present volume featuring this subject is provided in the sketchbook Introduction.

John Chu
January 2015

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Brienne-le-Château, Northern France 1832 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, January 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, April 2015, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-brienne-le-chateau-northern-france-r1175379, accessed 10 April 2021.