These three are part of a group that Turner developed during or shortly after his tour, taking his subjects from his on-the-spot sketches, or working in colour over outlines. As can be seen from the overlapping washes, the views of St-Vaast and Chateau d'Arques were once joined on the same sheet of . Turner later developed a watercolour of the St-Vaast setting, introducing numerous figures in the foreground engaged in jousting in boats (now in an American collection). Similarly, the simple sketch of Calais may have contributed to the view of the town from the sea in the oil Turner sent to the Royal Academy in 1827 (Manchester City Art Galleries).
Gallery label, September 2004