View this artwork by appointment, at Tate Britain's Prints and Drawings Rooms
Turner has crowded this page with five studies of Dieppe Harbour.1 The top sketch provides a distant view of the Château de Dieppe from near the entrance to the harbour, with sailing boats approaching and a rowing boat just coming into the shore where two figures wait. Beneath this the cliffs at Dieppe provide a backdrop to a scene that Finberg called ‘Fish-wives quarrelling’.2 Their fish are laid out in the sand before them, and Turner has gone to the effort to suggest a variety of different types of fish; (there is a labelled sketch of three fish in the Paris, Seine and Dieppe sketchbook which he also used on this tour: Tate D18572; Turner Bequest CCXI 31). Finberg decoded a column of letters to the left of the two figures as describing a white cap, green kerchief, and white petticoat. This figure also wears either blue or, more likely, black stockings. The figure on the right is dressed in a red cap, a garment that is black with red specks and white garters. ‘Each [has] a fish knife.’3
The third sketch depicts figures and boats on the Quai Henry IV. The view of the harbour towards the bridge roughly corresponds to a watercolour painted by Turner around 1826 (Tate D20209; Turner Bequest CCXX C) and an oil sketch of about 1827–8: Dieppe: The Port from the Quai Henri IV (Tate N03385).4 The sketch beneath depicts a bustling scene on the quay with a horse, figures, barrels, baskets and other paraphernalia, with a row of masts in the background.
The final sketch, at the bottom of the page is a view of the quay with numerous figures, the masts of boats, outline of cliffs in the background and, at the upper right above the bridge, the orb of a rising sun. At the left of the scene are a group of ‘old W[omen] washing fish’ at a fountain. This part of the sketch was used by Turner for a detail at the left of the unfinished oil painting mentioned above. For references to Turner’s other sketches of Dieppe made on this tour, see folio 1 verso (D24501; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 1v).
- work and occupations(11,718)
- symbols & personifications(7,117)