The Disembarkation of Louis-Philippe at the Royal Clarence Yard, Gosport, 8 October 1844 (unfinished sketch in oils). J. M. W. Turner. c.1844-45. Support: 711 1365 mm; frame: 1001 1662 124 mm. Collection: Tate, accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest, in 1856. Reference N02064. Image kindly made available by the gallery under the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND (3.0 Unported) licence. Commentary by Jacqueline Banerjee.

During the short-lived "July Monarchy," Louis Philippe of France was accepted as "King of the French." During his days in power, he visited England in 1844, and was greeted by excited crowds when his ship docked. Turner has caught the mood of the occasion in an atmospheric oil sketch with only a suggestion of the rows of onlookers either side of the royal procession, and the docked ship too seen only distantly in the background. Louis Philippe's next visit would be very different. A few years later, in 1848, he would be overthrown, smuggled out of France, and brought in disguise to England, to live out his remaining time in exile at Claremont, in Surrey.

Created 26 October 2020