Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints over this ink drawing to depict the potential hazards of travel on the Seine as it flows through Normandy. While a steam ship lets off steam and smoke in the distance, a bank of yellow sand with an alert flag is exposed towards the bottom right-hand corner of the scene. Art historian Ian Warrell has identified two pencil sketches in the Tancarville and Lillebonne sketchbook as sources for the present colour study: see Tate D23808 (Turner Bequest CCLIII 56) and D23810 (Turner Bequest CCLIII 57).1 For a finished watercolour on a comparable theme see Tate D24669 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 135). All this activity culminated in an engraved 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 T06241.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.271.
This study was not available for inspection at the time of cataloguing.