Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Wooded Bank ?in Upper Normandy


View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 231 x 330 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLIX 18

Display caption

Turner made his last trip to France in the autumn of 1845. This excursion included the distinction of a dinner invitation from King Louis Philippe, whom he had known during his exile in England. Turner had renewed their acquaintance by sending
a presentation copy of the engravings
of his England and Wales series.


Undaunted by the distinguished guests
at the chateau of Eu, in Picardy, Turner produced a series of wonderfully atmospheric and experimental studies. This example possibly shows a lake in the chateau grounds, though the landscape meets its reflection, making it difficult
to establish what is being represented.


Gallery label, September 2004

Catalogue entry

Like D35444 and D35446 (Turner Bequest CCCLIX 9, 11) this elaborate watercolour sketch depicts the wooded bank of a river or lake, perhaps in the Bresle valley. Multiple techniques have been used to create nocturnal or crepuscular effects: strong tonal contrasts are formed towards the left of the sheet between opaque, indigo washes and areas of ‘reserved’ paper; in the lower register meanwhile, the impression of shimmering reflection has been created with the ‘lifting off’ of glazes and perhaps with wax resistance.
Blank; except for patches of watercolour.

John Chu
February 2014

Read full Catalogue entry

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