- Museum number
Saumur; riverside view with an embankment leads towards a town in the distance, at the left of which a bridge crosses Loire, on the bridge at left are large buildings, in the foreground three seated figures on a pile of straw, various boats moored near the edge of the embankment. c.1830
- Production date
- 1830 (circa)
Height: 283 millimetres
Width: 423 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Engraved by R Wallis, 1830, for 'The Keepsake'.
Ref: C. Reginald Grundy, 'The Beecham Collection III Works by Turner', Connoisseur, XXXVIII, April 1914, p. 232, repr. p. 226.
In 1819 Turner and W. B. Cooke began work on a planned series of engravings to be based on the 1817 Rhine views, but the publication was abandoned when a rival illustrated tour appeared first. Through the 1820s, however, the two men successfully produced the mezzotints for the 'Rivers of England', and by the middle of the decade Turner had begun to gather material for Turner's 'Annual Tour', which he planned in collaboration with another publisher, Charles Heath. Rather than appearing as individual prints, however, these views were published in the same format as the hugely popular series 'The Landscape Annual' (1829-38), in volumes with complete texts of tours. Turner held enough cachet that his series bore his own name, and the first volume, with its alternative title of 'Wanderings by the Loire', appeared in December 1832.¹ But long before this ambitious series even got into production, Turner and Heath had already devised another, more expeditiously lucrative use for the magnificent series of watercolours of the rivers of France the artist was producing - 'the Keepsake' annuals (see 1958,0712.426). This view of 'Saumur' appeared in the volume for 1831.
Turner had made drawings of the area in a sketchbook of 1826 and studies on blue paper by 1829.² The freshness of style and colour in this work is remarkably close to the views of 'Florence' (1958,0712.426) and 'Marly-sur-Seine' (1958,0712.433) in Lloyd's collection, which also appeared in the 'Keepsake' and which share with it an interest in costume and a sparkling detail and quality of light achieved with the finest lines and hatching touches of a brush loaded with pure colour. These qualities lend the watercolours a distinctly European feel not found in the similar-sized finished watercolours for 'Picturesque Views of England and Wales' which Turner and Heath were producing at the same time.
Because this drawing was incorrectly titled 'Namur on the Meuse' when it was exhibited at the Guildhall in 1899, it was thought to have once belonged to Ruskin, but he gave his watercolour of this title to the Fitzwilliam Museum in 1861 (W 1025). We can be certain, however, that this view of 'Saumur' and its companion, 'Nantes', engraved in the same 'Keepsake', were both once owned by Benjamin Godfrey Windus, although they do not appear in Davis's watercolour of the collection at Tottenham (frontispiece).³
1. See Warrell 1997, pp. 185-95.
2. Wilton 1982, nos 49-50.
5. See Whittingham 1987, p. 33.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1899, Guildhall, no.147 (as 'Namur, on the Meuse')
1899, Birmingham, no.46 (where Ruskin is incorrectly added to provenance)
1909, Agnew's, no.27
1919 Mar-Apr, London, Agnew's, Artists of the Early English School, no.23
1951, Agnew's. no. 66
1959, 1960, BM
1966 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.24
1969 Feb, BM, Turner Lloyd Bequest, no.24
1975 BM, Turner in the BM, no.168
1998 May-Sept., BM, J.M.W.Turner: Lloyd Bequest, no.41
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Keepsake
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Benjamin Godfrey Windus (Until at least 1840)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (His sale, Foster's 1855, bt Dillon)
Previous owner/ex-collection: John Dillon (His sale, Foster's 7.vi.1856/144, sold for £204.15.0 to ?)
Previous owner/ex-collection: J H Maw (In 1857)
Previous owner/ex-collection: William Henry Smith (by descent to Hon William Frederick Danvers Smith)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Hon William Frederick Danvers Smith (bt Agnew's 4 April 1908, £3,600 (with five others))
Previous owner/ex-collection: Thomas Agnew & Sons (sold to Sir Joseph Beecham 26.vi.1908, £5,500 with five others)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Sir Joseph Beecham (His sale, Christie's, 3.v.1917/153, bt Freeman for 2,800 gns for Sir Thomas Beecham)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Sir Thomas Beecham (His sale, Christie's10.v.1918/87, bt Agnew's for Lloyd, £3,150 plus 5% commission £157 10s. (stock 8194))
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- UNDER THE TERMS OF THE BEQUEST, NONE OF THE PRINTS OR DRAWINGS BEQUEATHED BY R. W. LLOYD MAY BE LENT OUTSIDE THE BRITISH MUSEUM (Registration Numbers 1958,0712.318 to 3149).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number