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Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict hilly terrain traversed by lines of trees. Particular attention has been paid to the contrast between the bright tones of the far slope and the foreground shaded by trees. Although the features of this terrain appear somewhat generic, Art historian Ian Warrell has identified the scene as the high ground around Tancarville in Normandy.1 This would make the sketch one of five colour studies of Tancarville which Turner worked up around this date with a view to potential publication; for a list see the entry for Tate D24595 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 30). For Turner’s finished watercolours on this subject see Tate D24693 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 128) and D24695 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 130). All this activity culminated in two engraved illustrations for the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impressions T04701 and T05597.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.130.
A margin of darker blue paper around the edge of this sheet indicates damage from prolonged exposure to light.
The bottom right-hand corner of sheet is inscribed with a note in pencil reading ‘D24720’.