Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Avenue of Trees at Tancarville, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 142 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 172

Catalogue entry

Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict a curving avenue of trees on a hillside. Art historian Ian Warrell has identified the location of this scene as Tancarville in Normandy and the expanse of water glimpsed between the tree trunks as the Seine’s wide embouchure.1 This is one of five colour studies of Tancarville which Turner worked up around this date with a view to potential publication; for a list of these see the entry for Tate D24595 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 30). Warrell identified a pencil sketch in the earlier Tancarville and Lillebonne sketchbook as a source for the present study: see Tate D23721 (Turner Bequest CCLIII 12).2 For the finished watercolours see Tate D24693 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 128) and Tate D24695 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 130). All this activity culminated in two engraved illustrations 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 impressions T04701 and T05597.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.270.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

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