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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Pont de Bercy, Paris; ?Castle Defences, Normandy 1832

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 53 Recto:
Pont de Bercy, Paris; ?Castle Defences, Normandy 1832
Turner Bequest CCLIV 53
Pencil on white wove paper, 174 x 117 mm
Inscribed by John Ruskin in red ink ‘53’ top right, ascending vertically
Stamped in black ink ‘CCLIV – 53’ top right, ascending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner drew a north-westerly view across central Paris at the top of this page. With the Seine in the foreground and the two western towers of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in the distance, the centre of the scene is occupied by the suspension bridge crossing the river at Bercy. This piece of engineering would have been new to Turner on the 1832 tour, having been opened by Louis-Philippe, King of the French, only in the February of that year.
Inverted in relation to the sketch at the top of the page, the descriptions of medieval round towers below are too cursory to identify a definitive location. However, the castles of Guillard and Gisors in the Seine region of Normandy were the subject of considerable study in this volume. For comparisons, see the lists of pages featuring these structures in the sketchbook Introduction.

John Chu
July 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Pont de Bercy, Paris; ?Castle Defences, Normandy 1832 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, July 2014, 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-pont-de-bercy-paris-castle-defences-normandy-r1173390, accessed 15 February 2019.