Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rouen Cathedral from the Place de la Haute-Vieille-Tour


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

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 x 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 61

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with a view north from Rouen’s market square towards the rue de l’Epicerie and the south side of the medieval cathedral. Particular attention has been paid to the recession in perspective of the street’s irregular architecture terminating in the heavily ornamented Porte de La Calende with its arched doorway, rose window, and flanking towers. Rising to the top of the page are the high towers and pinnacles of the west front and centre crossing. For the watercolours of the cathedral’s architecture that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see especially Tate D24819 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 254), but also D24674 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 109), D24714 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 149), D24787 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 222), D24822 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 257). These culminated in an engraving 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 T05606.
A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring views of Rouen is provided in the entry for folio 60 recto (D23999; Turner Bequest CCLIV 60).

John Chu
July 2014

Read full Catalogue entry


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