Joseph Mallord William Turner

Four Sketches: Rouen from the South-East; Le Havre, Ste-Adresse, and Cap de la Hève


Not on display
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 123 x 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLVIII 24

Catalogue entry

Surprisingly, these four sketches were not all made on the same occasion. While the top sketch depicts Rouen from the south-west with the Seine at the left and the towers of the cathedral in the distance at the centre, the other three sketches were made at the mouth of the Seine estuary.
Ian Warrell has suggested that the second sketch down may depict the shore at Le Havre (see folio 2; Tate D24502; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 2), while the third provides a view from the shore at Ste-Adresse back towards Le Havre and across the estuary towards Honfleur. The bottom sketch depicts the Cap de la Hève from Ste-Adresse (see also folio 9 verso; Tate D24517; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 9a).1 Turner inscribed this sketch ‘Havre’ and noted ‘children play with a ball’. At the top of the cloudy sky above the cliff he noted ‘yellow sky’ and further inscriptions in the sea and the surf note that the ‘Sand [appears] dark’, with the letters ‘WL’ and ‘BW’ presumably representing colours and tones.

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

Ian Warrell, Turner catalogue files, Tate, CCLVIII 24.

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