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Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints over this ink drawing to depict the hilly banks of the Seine near Jumièges in Normandy. Tall sailing vessels and architectural structures on the shore are reflected in the river’s calm waters while, to the right-hand side of the scene, can be glimpsed the ruined medieval abbey of Jumièges. Sketches of this stretch of the Seine recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook and presumably contributed to the conception of this colour study. For lists of these sketchbook drawings, see the entry for Tate D24021 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 71). For the finished watercolour of the abbey which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24696 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 131). All this activity culminated in an illustration for the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impression T05602.
The centre of the sheet is stamped in black with the Turner Bequest monogram and the number ‘CCLIX 77’. The same number is inscribed in pencil, also at the centre of the sheet. The ‘D24642’ appears in the bottom right-hand corner in pencil.