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

ISBN 978-1-84976-386-8

Paris and Environs Sketchbook 1832

Turner Bequest CCLVII
Sketchbook bound in boards and ink-stained, buff parchment (see entries for D40604 and D40622)
169 leaves of white laid paper with added guttering (see Technical notes); page size 175 x 127 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Bound in ink-stained parchment covers, this sketchbook contains a substantial quantity of pencil drawings which Turner made around Paris, the Île-de-France, and the River Marne in the autumn of 1832. As laid out in the Introduction to this tour, the material gathered in this volume contributed substantially to two of the artist’s major illustrative projects around this time: a new edition of Walter Scott’s Life of Napoleon Buonaparte (1834–36) and the Seine volumes of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France).1 The majority of pages have been worked up with the sketchbook turned horizontally, frequently to accommodate the expansive urban vistas and monumental façades to which Turner paid particular attention on this leg of the tour. As in the Seine and Paris sketchbook from the same tour, this set of studies varies greatly in levels of finish and detail. Contrast, for instance, his close observation of the Château de Fontainebleau on folio 84 verso (D24332; Turner Bequest CCLVII 84a) and the indecipherable jottings on folio 114 verso (D24392; Turner Bequest CCLVII 114a).
In 1973 art historian Gerald Finley first dated this sketchbook, along with Seine and Paris, to the 1832 tour on account of its targeting of Napoleonic subjects. Notable in this respect are the drawings of the town of Brienne-le-Château (listed later in the Introduction) where the Emperor attended military college. As one of Turner’s letters to his publisher makes plain, he visited this site for the first time on this tour with an illustration for the Scott text specifically in mind.2 Ian Warrell’s 1999 Turner on the Seine publication proposes a direct link between the Seine and Paris and Paris and Environs sketchbooks, speculating that the multiple views taken at Saint-Cloud in each volume were drawn on the same occasion, with the latter volume commenced once the pages of the former were filled sometime in early September. 3 Building on this supposition, Warrell draws up a possible itinerary for the latter stages of the tour in order to account for some of the major sites recorded in Paris and Environs.4 According to this version of events, Turner travelled upstream along the River Seine from Saint-Cloud, passing the Palais Bourbon and the Louvre as he approached central Paris. There he made studies of the capital’s many boulevards, quays, palaces, theatres, churches, and monuments. With Paris as his base, the nearby towns and estates of Versailles, Saint-Cyr-l’École, and Rambouillet were within easy reach. Warrell then envisages Turner moving on from Paris, following the Seine upstream past Charenton and Corbeil-Essones before tarrying at Fontainebleau and the medieval town of Melun. Cutting cross country, the later stages of this itinerary has Turner taking in the important monuments of Provins and Troyes and the lesser sights of Chalons-sur-Marne and Epernay along the River Marne. It is then suggested that the remaining subjects – including Malmaison, Saint-Denis, and Saint-Germain – were sketched on the return journey to London through Paris in mid-October.
As Warrell concedes, however, Turner’s haphazard use of the sketchbook ultimately precludes any detailed chronology of its contents.5 As in the other volumes attributed to this tour, the earliest drawings often appear to have been worked into whichever page happened to open first with blank pages eventually located as the sketchbook filled up. As a result, the contents make up something of a patchwork of motifs that make little sense when the foliation is followed conventionally. For example, folios 59 verso and 60 recto (D24282, D24283; Turner Bequest CCLVII 59a, CCLVII 60) feature drawings of both the Louvre and Melun, located some thirty miles apart. A clearer survey of those subjects which particularly preoccupied Turner on his sojourn in Paris and its surroundings in the autumn of 1832 might be gained, therefore, by considering his major subjects in distinct groups. What follows is an alphabetical listing of these frequently sketched sites followed by references to folios wherever the subject is unambiguously identifiable.
Brienne-le-Château:
Folio 94 verso (D24350; Turner Bequest CCLVII 93a); Folio 94 recto (D24351; Turner Bequest CCLVII 94); Folio 100 verso (D24364; Turner Bequest CCLVII 100a); Folio 101 recto (D24365; Turner Bequest CCLVII 101); Folio 104 verso (D24372; Turner Bequest CCLVII 104a); Folio 109 verso (D24382; Turner Bequest CCLVII 109a); Folio 110 recto (D24383; Turner Bequest CCLVII 100); Folio 111 recto (D24385; Turner Bequest CCLVII 111); Folio 111 verso (D24386; Turner Bequest CCLVII 111a)
Charenton-le-Pont:
Folio 71 recto (D24305; Turner Bequest CCLVII 71); Folio 71 verso (D24306; Turner Bequest CCLVII 71a); Folio 79 verso (D24322; Turner Bequest CCLVII 79a); Folio 80 recto (D24323; Turner Bequest CCLVII 80)
Corbeil-Essonnes:
Folios 74 recto to 75 verso (D24311–D24314; Turner Bequest CCLVII 74–75a)
Fountainbleau:
Folios 83 verso to 88 verso (D24330–D24340; Turner Bequest CCLVII 83a–88)
Les Invalides:
Folio 14 recto (D24193; Turner Bequest CCLVII 14); Folio 128 recto (D24419; Turner Bequest CCLVII 128); Folio 144 verso (D24450; Turner Bequest CCLVII 144a); Folio 156 verso (D24474; Turner Bequest CCLVII 156a); Folio 157 verso (D24476; Turner Bequest CCLVII 157); Folio 159 verso (D24480; Turner Bequest CCLVII 159a)
Malmaison:
Folio 125 verso (D24414; Turner Bequest CCLVII CCLVII 125a); Folio 126 recto (D24415; Turner Bequest CCLVII 126); Folio 152 recto (D24465; Turner Bequest CCLVII 152)
Melun:
Folio 1 recto (D24168; Turner Bequest CCLVII 1); Folio 16 verso (D24198; Turner Bequest CCLVII 16a); Folio 59 verso (D24282; Turner Bequest CCLVII 59a); Folio 60 recto (D24283; Turner Bequest CCLVII 60); Folio 76 verso (D24316; Turner Bequest CCLVII 76a); Folio 77 verso (D24318; Turner Bequest CCLVII 77a); Folio 78 recto (D24319; Turner Bequest CCLVII 78); Folio 79 recto (D24321; Turner Bequest CCLVII 79); Folio 80 verso (D24324; Turner Bequest CCLVII 80a); Folio 89 recto (D24341; Turner Bequest CCLVII 89); Folio 169 recto (D24498; Turner Bequest CCLVII 169)
Panthéon:
Folio 9 verso (D24184; Turner Bequest CCLVII 9a); Folio 10 recto (D24185; Turner Bequest CCLVII 10)
Parisian Boulevards:
Folio 36 verso (D24237; Turner Bequest CCLVII 36); Folio 40 verso (D24245; Turner Bequest CCLVII 40a); Folio 51 recto to 52 verso (D24265–D24268; Turner Bequest CCLVII 51–52a)
Parisian Quaysides:
Folio 3 recto (D24172; Turner Bequest CCLVII 3); Folio 4 recto (D24174; Turner Bequest CCLVII 4); Folio 6 recto (D24177; Turner Bequest CCLVII 6); Folio 11 verso (D24188; Turner Bequest CCLVII 11a); Folio 41 recto (D24246; Turner Bequest CCLVII 41); Folio 42 recto (D24248; Turner Bequest CCLVII 42); Folio 49 recto (D24261; Turner Bequest CCLVII 49); Folio 54 verso (D24272; Turner Bequest CCLVII 54a); Folio 55 verso (D24274; Turner Bequest CCLVII 55a); Folios 56 recto to 63 recto (D24275–D24289; Turner Bequest CCLVII 56–63); Folio 64 verso (D24292; Turner Bequest CCLVII 64a); Folio 65 verso (D24293; Turner Bequest CCLVII 65); Folios 66 recto to 68 verso (D24295–D24300; Turner Bequest CCLVII 66–68a); Folio 125 recto (D24413; Turner Bequest CCLVII 125); Folio 127 verso (D24418; Turner Bequest CCLVII 127a); Folio 145 recto (D24451; Turner Bequest CCLVII 145); Folio 159 recto (D24479; Turner Bequest CCLVII 159)
Pont d’Arcole and Hôtel de Ville:
Folio 63 verso (D24290; Turner Bequest CCLVII 63a); Folio 65 verso (D24294; Turner Bequest CCLVII 65v); Folio 69 recto (D24301; Turner Bequest CCLVII 69); Folio 69 verso (D24302; Turner Bequest CCLVII 69a); Folio 161 recto (D24483; Turner Bequest CCLVII 161)
Pont Notre-Dame:
Folio 68 recto (D24299; Turner Bequest CCLVII 78); Folio 68 verso (D24300; Turner Bequest 68a)
Provins:
Folio 81 verso (D24326; Turner Bequest CCLVII 81a); Folio 82 recto (D24327; Turner Bequest CCLVII 82); Folio 89 verso (D24342; Turner Bequest CCLVII 89a); Folios 91 verso to 93 recto (D24346–D24349; Turner Bequest CCLVII 91–93); Folios 94 verso to 96 recto (D24352–D24355; Turner Bequest CCLVII 94a–96); Folio 97 recto to 100 recto (D24357–D24363; Turner Bequest CCLVII 97–100)
Rambouillet:
Inside front cover (D40623); Folio 9 recto (D24183; Turner Bequest CCLVII 9); Folio 27 verso to folio 30 recto (D24219–D24224; Turner Bequest CCLVII 27–30); Folio 31 recto (D24226; Turner Bequest CCLVII 31); Folio 31 verso (D24227; Turner Bequest CCLVII 31a)
Saint-Cloud:
Folio 38 verso (D24241; Turner Bequest CCLVII 38a); Folio 43 verso (D24251; Turner Bequest CCLVII 43a); Folios 128 verso to 130 recto (D24420–D24422; Turner Bequest CCLVII 128a–130); Folios 133 recto to 134 verso (D24428–D24431; Turner Bequest CCLVII 133–134a); Folio 137 recto (D24435; Turner Bequest CCLVII 137); Folio 138 verso (D24438; Turner Bequest CCLVII 138a); Folio 139 recto (D24439; Turner Bequest CCLVII 139); Folio 141 recto (D24443; Turner Bequest CCLVII 141); Folio 141 verso (D24444; Turner Bequest CCLVII 141a); Folio 142 verso (D24446; Turner Bequest CCLVII 142a); Folio 146 verso (D24454; Turner Bequest CCLVII 146a); Folios 148 recto to 149 recto (D24457–D24459; Turner Bequest CCLVII 148–149)
Saint-Cyr-l’École:
Folio 21 verso (D24208; Turner Bequest CCLVII 21a); Folio 22 recto (D24209; Turner Bequest CCLVII 22); Folio 25 recto (D24214; Turner Bequest CCLVII 25); Folio 26 verso (D24217; Turner Bequest CCLVII 26a)
Saint-Denis:
Folio 45 verso (D24254; Turner Bequest CCLVII 45a); Folio 152 verso (D24466; Turner Bequest CCLVII 152a); Folio 153 recto (D24467; Turner Bequest CCLVII 153); Folio 154 recto (D24469; Turner Bequest CCLVII 154); Folio 154 verso (D24470; Turner Bequest CCLVII 154a)
Saint-Germain-en-Laye:
Folio 121 recto (D24405; Turner Bequest CCLVII 121); Folio 161 verso (D24484; Turner Bequest CCLVII 161a); Folio 164 recto (D24488; Turner Bequest CCLVII 164); Folio 164 verso (D24489; Turner Bequest CCLVII 164a); Folio 165 verso (D24491; Turner Bequest CCLVII 165a); Folio 166 verso (D24493; Turner Bequest CCLVII 166a); Folio (D; Turner Bequest CCLVII)
Troyes:
Folio 101 verso (D24366; Turner Bequest 101a); Folio 102 verso (D24368; Turner Bequest 102a); Folio 103 verso (D24370; Turner Bequest 103a); Folio 107 verso (D24378; Turner Bequest 107a); Folio 108 verso (D24379; Turner Bequest 108); Folio 118 verso (D24400; Turner Bequest 118a)
Vendôme Column:
Folio 55 recto (D24273; Turner Bequest CCLVII 55); Folio 155 recto (D24471; Turner Bequest CCLVII 155); Folio 155 verso (DD4472; Turner Bequest CCLVII 155a)
Versailles:
Folio 12 recto (D24189; Turner Bequest CCLVII 12); Folio 12 verso (D24190; Turner Bequest CCLVII 12a); Folios 14 verso to 16 recto (D24194–D24197; Turner Bequest CCLVII 14a–16); Folio 18 recto (D24201; Turner Bequest CCLVII 18); Folio 18 verso (D24202; Turner Bequest CCLVII 18a); Folios 19 recto to 21 recto (D24203–D24207; Turner Bequest CCLVII 19–21); Folio 24 recto (D24212; Turner Bequest CCLVII 24); Folio 33 verso to 36 recto (D24229–D24236; Turner Bequest CCLVII 32–36)
Vincennes:
Folios 46 recto to 48 verso (D24255–D24260; Turner Bequest CCLVII 46–48a)
1
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., vol.II, London 1908, pp.289–92 nos.530–40.
2
John Gage, Collected Correspondence of J.M.W. Turner with an Early Diary and a Memoir by George Jones, Oxford 1980, p.148 letter 175
3
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.55.
4
Ibid., pp.55–60.
5
Ibid., p. 55.

John Chu
January 2015

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How to cite

John Chu, ‘Paris and Environs Sketchbook 1832’, sketchbook, 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/paris-and-environs-sketchbook-r1175193, accessed 20 June 2019.