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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner The Châtelet Fountain, Paris c.1833

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
The Châtelet Fountain, Paris c.1833
D24602
Turner Bequest CCLIX 37
Gouache and watercolour on blue paper, 141 x 191 mm
Inscribed in red ink ‘37’ bottom right
Blind-stamped with the Turner Bequest monogram bottom right
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX 37’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict Napoleon’s columnar Châtelet Fountain, located on right bank of the Seine at Paris. The turrets of the Conciergerie can be seen in the middle distance and, beyond these, the towers of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame. Art historian Ian Warrell has identified a drawing in the Paris and Environs sketchbook as the basis for this composition: see Tate D24482 (Turner Bequest CCLVII 160a).1 The existence of the present colour study suggests that Turner considered the subject as an illustration for Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France) or the new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36), although the monument did not make it into either publication in the event.2
1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.272.
2
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London 1908, vol.II, pp.264–76 nos.453–92, 288–92 nos.525–39.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

How to cite

John Chu, ‘The Châtelet Fountain, Paris c.1833 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, August 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-the-chatelet-fountain-paris-r1173074, accessed 19 September 2021.