- Museum number
Marly-sur-Seine; riverside view, looking along an avenue of trees which stretch along the left bank of Seine, hills in the distance, in the foreground a group of ladies about to board a boat, two dogs on the road at left. c.1831
Watercolour, touched with bodycolour
- Production date
- 1831 (circa)
Height: 286 millimetres
Width: 426 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Engraved by W Miller, 1832, for 'The Keepsake'.
Like 'Saumur' (1958,0712.430), 'Marly-sur-Seine' was based on studies made in France late in the previous decade in preparation for 'Rivers of France' (TB CCLX 58, CCLXIII 30), but used instead to make this watercolour, which appeared in Charles Heath's annual 'The Keepsake'. Also like the previous work (and 'Florence from, San Miniato' (1958,0712.426)), it was once owned by Hugh Munro of Novar. Both French river views are much larger than the engravings related to them and were probably created specifically for the 'Keepsake', then exhibited for sale to publicise each new volume.¹
This view of Marly was painted as a pair to another view of this part of the Seine, 'St Germain-en-Laye' (W 1045), also of 1832. In the latter, the river is on the left, its bank filled with working figures wearing the costume of the time of Henri IV rather than the contemporary dress of Louis-Philippe worn by the women in the present work. In 'St Germain', the aqueduct of the Machine de Marly is visible running across the horizon in the distance, while in Lloyd's watercolour it rises like a ruin in a vignette on the far left, from which the sun casts diagonal shafts of light over the gate and through the trees as if through stained-glass windows in a Gothic nave.
Turner used a thick white wove paper with a cream finish for these works, leaving the finish to lend a creamy tone to the work in many parts of the sky while scraping it away in other places for white highlights. In 'Saumur' he used very little bodycolour - only a few touches of red, and some ochre for the boats and straw in the foreground - but in 'Marly' he employed more than in most of his works of this period. The bright green was a new emerald green pigment developed about this date, and the jewel-like blue, the ochres and reds, even blacks, were used to unite the group of figures and other more far-flung elements of the composition; but most unusual of all in this work is the use of white pigment on top of areas of scratched-out highlights, such as on the dogs, the parapet and the women's dresses. This may have been an experiment with media in response to Turner's study of Venetian painting: Ruskin noted that the group of trees on the left could be found in Tintoretto's 'Death of Abel' in the Accademia² and in 1833 Turner exhibited two oils with Venetian subjects at the Royal Academy. The type of costumes worn by the women has been the subject of much discussion,³ but previous writers have failed to notice that the men poling the pleasure boats on the river are dressed as gondoliers - a further reference to Turner's current fascination with all things Venetian.
1. See Warrell 1997, pp. 184-5 and p. 212 (n. 5).
2. Modern Painters, I, 1898 edn, p. 84, n. 1.
3. See, for example, Alfrey, p. 55.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1920, Agnew's, no.17
1928, Agnew's, no.23
1951, Agnew's. no.84
1959, 1960, BM
1975 BM, Turner in the BM, no.175
1985, BM, British Landscape Watercolours 1600-1860, no.96
1998 May-Sept., BM, J.M.W.Turner: Lloyd Bequest, no.42
- Associated titles
Associated Title: Keepsake
- Previous owner
Previous owner/ex-collection: Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro of Novar (His sale, Christie's, 2.vi.1877/37, bt White, £420)
Previous owner/ex-collection: John White
Previous owner/ex-collection: John Heugh (His sale, Christie's, 10.v.1878/157, bt Harrison, £409.10.0)
Previous owner/ex-collection: C Harrison
Previous owner/ex-collection: Anonymous ('Property of a lady', Christie's 19.vii.1918/16, bt Agnew's, £1,050; bt Rev. J.W.R. Brocklebank, 2 October 1918, £1,260 (stock 8984))
Previous owner/ex-collection: Rev J W R Brocklebank (by descent to Lieut. Brocklebank, RN)
Previous owner/ex-collection: Lt Brocklebank (His sale, Christie's 25.xi.1927/88, bt Agnew's for Lloyd, £1,627 10s. plus 5% commission £81 7s. 6d.)
- 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