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This panoramic sketch (continuing slightly to the right on folio 7; Tate D24512; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 7), depicts Rouen from the south bank of the Seine near (but not including) the bridge of boats (see Turner’s later pen and ink sketch on blue paper: Tate D24891; Turner Bequest CCLX 55). As well as the cathedral at the far left of the page, and the spire of St Ouen’s on the continuing page, Turner has paid attention to the many boats crowded along the river banks.
The view, especially of the cathedral, is similar (and indeed, may have informed) Turner’s gouache and watercolour design of Rouen, Looking Downstream, c.1832 (Tate D24673; Turner Bequest CCLIX 108) for Turner’s Annual Tour, 1834 (Tate T05605). See also folio 22 verso (Tate D24542; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 22a) for another sketch of the town from across the Seine. Finberg and others have noted that the cathedral spire as seen in these sketches is in the state prior to its destruction on 15 September 1822, helping to date this tour to 1821.1
For a list of Turner’s sketches of Rouen in this book, see folio 1 (Tate D24500; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 1).