Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Quayside ?at Dieppe


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 232 × 332 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLX 13

Catalogue entry

This watercolour sketch of a quayside scene with horses and carriages passing alongside a harbour with tall ships was presumably taken at Dieppe, although no landmark provides a definitive location. The street traffic is given special attention with streaked passages of ruddy-brown gouache used to indicate the busy coming and going of figures. Eye level is established at an elevation above street level, parallel to the figures at the bottom left of the page, who incline to view the scene seemingly from a first-floor balcony. In this respect, like folio 11 recto (D35470; Turner Bequest CCCLX 12), the page draws the viewer into the sociable pleasures of a fashionable resort town.1
For reasons set out in the Technical notes in the sketchbook Introduction, this work appears inverted in relation to the volume as foliated.
For the fashionable nature of Dieppe at this date, see Simonia Pakenham, Sixty Miles from England: The English at Dieppe, 1814–1914, London 1967; also, L. Vitet, Histoire de Dieppe, Paris 1844, p.333.
Blank; except for small patches of watercolour transferred from folio 13 recto opposite (D35472; Turner Bequest CCCLX 14).

John Chu
February 2014

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