Joseph Mallord William Turner

Chalk Cliffs near Mers-les-Bains

1845

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Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 231 x 327 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D35449
Turner Bequest CCCLIX 14

Catalogue entry

Matthieu Pinette identifies this sketch as an easterly view away from Le Tréport towards the beach at Mers-les-Bains.1 Two sets of high chalk cliffs are divided by the Bois-de-Cise, indicated by calligraphic, liquid blue watercolour. Ian Warrell speculates that the large red angular structure in the middle distance is a temporary fortification associated with the Queen Victoria’s contemporary visit to nearby Eu.2 For the possible connection between Turner’s final trip and this royal event see the Introduction to this tour.
1
Gamble, Wildman and Pinette 2003, p.131.
2
Warrell 1995, p.37.
Verso:
Blank; except for patches of watercolour and endorsement marks. ‘45’ is inscribed in blue pencil at the centre of the sheet and ‘JR’ in pencil towards the bottom left.

John Chu
February 2014

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