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This loose colour sketch is one of several comparable works first documented by John Ruskin as a view of Dieppe harbour. As A.J. Finberg noted in his 1909 inventory of the Turner Bequest, Ruskin grouped this work together with twenty other ‘slight coloured sketches, chiefly from Dieppe’. 1 A note which was once appended to this parcel of works reveals that Ruskin held them in low regard, judging that they had been executed ‘in some careless or sickly state of mind’. 2 More recently, the sheet has been identified as a preparatory work towards one of several abortive attempts to put the material gathered on the 1826 tour of Northern France to use,3 most likely the failed The English Channel or La Manche print series.4
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.685.
David Blayney Brown, Sarah Skinner and Ian Warrell, Coasting: Turner and Bonington on the Shores of the Channel, exhibition catalogue, Nottingham Castle 2008, p.59.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, Tate Gallery, London 1997, pp.23–4, 159 reproduced as fig.153, 207 note 8, 217 no.30
The sheet is attached to its mount.