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Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict the view across the port of Honfleur, Normandy from the east. The vista carries the eye from the rough browns and ochres of the foreground, past the densely packed port area, and out to the wide embouchure of the Seine and the English Channel. This is one of seven colour studies of Honfleur which Turner worked up around this date with a view to potential publication; these are listed under the entry for Tate D24580 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 15). For his finished watercolour on this subject see Tate D24700 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 135). All this activity culminated in an engraved illustration 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 impression T04707.
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.