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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Tours, Loire Valley 1826

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Folio 8 Recto:
Tours, Loire Valley 1826
Turner Bequest CCXLIX 8
Pencil on white laid paper, 103 x 153 mm
Partial watermark of bunch of grapes
Inscribed by Turner in pencil ‘15’ centre
Inscribed by John Ruskin in blue ink ‘8’ bottom right, descending vertically, ‘266’ bottom left, descending vertically
Stamped in black ‘CCXLIX 8’ bottom left descending vertically
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled centre this page with views of Tours seen from a high vantage. The prominent building in the upper drawing has been identified as the Church of Saint-Symphorien and the bridge as the Pont de Tours.1 He also identified the Tour de Guise, the Cathedral and Saint-Gatien, and the Church of Saint-Julien in the lower drawing. This is one of a substantial number of pages featuring sketches of the city and its environs in this volume, a list of which is provided in the sketchbook introduction. Turner subsequently used these drawings as the basis for multiple colour studies and finished watercolours on blue paper with a view to engraved reproduction. These culminated in four printed illustrations for Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France);2 see Tate impressions T04685–T04688.

John Chu
May 2015

Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.236.
Luke Herrmann, Turner Prints: The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 1990, pp.171–83.

How to cite

John Chu, ‘Tours, Loire Valley 1826 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, May 2015, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, March 2017, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-tours-loire-valley-r1185097, accessed 25 June 2022.