View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
This harbour scene has been identified by Ian Warrell as depicting the Quai Henri IV at Dieppe.1 Turner has populated the sketch with numerous figures that, while being drawn in a rather generalised manner, have the distinctive aprons and bonnets of Normandy (see, for example, folio 5; Tate D24508; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 5). The inscriptions ‘RB’ and ‘w’ appear under several figures, perhaps referring to the colour of their costumes; presumably red, black (or blue) and white. The classical looking architectural structure at the right is a fountain that can also be seen to the left of the sketch of the quay on folio 13 (Tate D24524; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 13). Turner included it also in a watercolour study dated to around 1826 (Tate D20209; Turner Bequest CCXX C), and in his oil study of the harbour with women washing clothes: Dieppe: The Port from Quai Henry IV, ?1827–8 (Tate N03385).2 Beneath the sketch to the left are a few diagonal lines that probably represent the beginning of a sketch of a boat’s mast and rigging.