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Turner's 1826 French tour began at Dieppe towards the end of August. His first sketchbook (no.5) includes only a general view of the town of the kind he had already noted two years earlier. But it seems that he also made some sketches on loose sheets of paper. On these he again recorded the quaysides, which had formed the subject of his large oil painting of 1825 (Frick Collection, New York), and revisited the ruins of Chateau d'Arques, just a short distance outside the town. On his return to London he may have considered these sketches suitable preparatory material on which to draw for the set of engravings he proposed to call The English Channel, or La Manche.

September 2004