Joseph Mallord William Turner

Le Havre, Normandy

1832

View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms

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
D23977
Turner Bequest CCLIV 49

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with studies of the harbour infrastructure at Le Havre, Normandy. Prominent at the centre of the page is the sixteenth-century tower of François I guarding the entrance to the port with a sail-boat gliding in front. Immediately to the right of this, particular attention has been paid the recession in perspective of the artificial pier’s long walls. 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.
A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring Le Havre and Cap de la Hève is provided in the entry for folio 48 recto (D23975; Turner Bequest CCLIV 48).

John Chu
July 2014

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