Joseph Mallord William Turner
A Sail Boat at Rouen ?1827–8

Artwork details

A Sail Boat at Rouen
Date ?1827–8
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 603 x 908 mm
frame: 775 x 1070 x 70 mm
Acquisition Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Not on display

Display caption

The luminous sky in this study, coupled with the gondola-like boat on the left, perhaps suggest that the scene depicted is Italian. However, the image can be related to a pencil sketch dating from a tour Turner made in 1821. The preliminary sketch for this work has been detached from the related sketchbook, but shows the same sloop, its sails raised, almost obscuring the towers of Rouen cathedral in the distance. These architectural features are only faintly present here. Though the covered punt may bring to mind the famous craft found in Venice, this type of boat was common to the Seine, and was adapted by both Daubigny and Monet as informal studies.

February 2010

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