Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Lighthouse at Quillebeuf


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 107 × 156 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIII 55

Catalogue entry

The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of a landscape with a lighthouse in the foreground. Finberg identified this sketch as ‘Lighthouse, at mouth of Seine’,1 and the locations of Lillebonne and Quillebeuf have been put forward.2 Art historian Ian Warrell states3 that this was one of the sketches which informed Turner’s later depictions of Quillebeuf in gouache or oils such as Quillebeuf, c.1832 (D24668, Turner Bequest CCLIX 103),4 which was engraved for Turner’s Annual Tour Wanderings by the Seine, 1834 (Tate impressions: T05610, T06242).
In this sketch, Turner concentrates on the shape of the lighthouse, and indicates the cliffs and River Seine beyond. The top part of the page may be a separate sketch, depicting the landscape from a different viewpoint.
Finberg 1909, II, p.770.
Warrell 1999, pp.38, 136, 137 fig.105, p.265 no.10; ?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), pp.3, 4.
Warrell 1999, pp.38, 137 fig.105, pp.138–9.
Andrew Wilton, J.M.W. Turner: His Life and Work, Fribourg 1979, p.414 no.969, reproduced.
Technical notes:
There is a strip of paler bleached paper running horizontally across the top of the page, with a corresponding area on folio 54 verso opposite (D23805); this is likely to have resulted from where the sketchbook’s ribbon marker band (no longer present) had been left in the book and thereby prevented the discolouration which affected the rest of the page, leaving a lighter band.

Caroline South
May 2017

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