Joseph Mallord William Turner

Le Havre; Cap de la Hève, Normandy

1832

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 174 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D23975
Turner Bequest CCLIV 48

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner recorded multiple views of the coastal terrain around the Le Havre, Normandy on the top half of this page. At the top edge can be glimpsed the two lighthouses that surmounted the high headland at Cap de la Hève, north-west of the port. Below is a wide landscape view looking directly into the harbour mouth, with the sixteenth-century tower century tower of François I guarding its entrance. A much more detailed sketch of these structures features in the Guernsey sketchbook which was probably taken on the same tour; see Tate D23539 (Turner Bequest CCLII 10). For examples of the watercolours of Le Havre that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24647 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 82), D24698 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 133), and D24699 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 134). These culminated in two engravings in 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 T05594 and T04699.
Le Havre and Cap de la Hève recur frequently at various points in the sketchbook; see folios 48 verso (D23976; Turner Bequest CCLIV 48a), 49 recto (D23977; Turner Bequest CCLIV 49), 81 verso (D24042; Turner Bequest CCLIV 81a), 82 recto (D24043; Turner Bequest CCLIV 82), 83 recto (D24045; Turner Bequest CCLIV 83), 88 recto (D24055; Turner Bequest CCLIV 88), 90 recto (D24059; Turner Bequest CCLIV 90).

John Chu
July 2014

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