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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Joseph Mallord William Turner Troyes c.1833

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Troyes c.1833
Turner Bequest CCLIX 126
Gouache and watercolour on blue paper, 142 x 191 mm
Blind-stamped with Turner Bequest monogram bottom left
Stamped in black ‘CCLIX – 126’ bottom right
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
By J.C. Armytage in 1834, published in 1835.
In this watercolour, Turner presents a tranquil view on the bank of the River Seine at the town of Troyes, the ancient capital of the Champagne region, in north-central France. Turner portrays figures in relaxed poses. Troyes cathedral in the background is conveyed in softly contrasting colours of salmon and lilac. Light falls from the top right corner, picking out edges of the buildings at far right in russet tones, highlighting the edges of turrets to the left before hitting and highlighting the tower just left of centre, and leaving the area at central right in purpled shadow, above the still water. All these elements suggest it is early evening.
The watercolour is based on pencil sketches (Tate D24366,1 D243702 and D24380;3 respectively Turner Bequest CCLVII 101a, 103a, 108a) in Turner’s Paris and Environs sketchbook from 1832.
An engraving was made of this watercolour by J.C. Armytage in 1834, as Troyes (Tate impressions T04726, T05626 and T06264) for the volume Wanderings by the Seine of 1835.4 This is the last of Turner’s series of illustrations to appear in the volume. Various elements have been added to the engraving, namely a crescent moon high at the top centre of the sheet, its reflection in the water at bottom centre, and several ducks in the lower right corner.
Lyles and Perkins 1989, p.41; Lyles 1992 p.64.
Ibid.; Warrell 1999, p.278.
Lyles and Perkins 1989, p.41; Lyles 1992 p.64.
Leitch Ritchie, Wanderings by the Seine, London, Paris and Berlin 1835, opposite p.244.
Previous records note inscriptions in gouache ‘21[?] | Troyes’ and in pencil ‘20’; however, currently covered and simply marked ‘No image on the back.’

Caroline South
November 2017

How to cite

Caroline South, ‘Troyes c.1833 by Joseph Mallord William Turner’, catalogue entry, November 2017, in David Blayney Brown (ed.), J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours, Tate Research Publication, November 2019, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/jmw-turner/joseph-mallord-william-turner-troyes-r1195832, accessed 18 May 2022.