This is one of a group of sixteen oil sketches once thought to show Italian scenes. In fact its composition is based on a thumbnail sketch of Rouen, which is squeezed onto the bottom of a page of studies in a sketchbook Turner used while touring northern France. However, that preliminary sketch does not include the tower which dominates this oil study. This may have been based on the remains of a fortification on the southern side of the river at Rouen. However, it could also relate to the round tower guarding the harbour at Honfleur.
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Joseph Mallord William Turner (41,861)