Joseph Mallord William Turner

An Avenue, Tancarville


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 12

Catalogue entry

The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of an avenue. Turner captures the essence of the view with a few loose, quickly drawn lines. Finberg noted this page simply as ‘Houses, &c., on river-banks’;1 however, Honfleur had been suggested and Tancarville confirmed as a location.2 Art historian Ian Warrell states3 this sketch was used as the preliminary sketch for Turner’s later watercolour An Avenue of Trees at Tancarville, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24737; Turner Bequest CCLIX 172), and possibly also for The Tour Coquesart at Tancarville, Normandy of about the same date (Tate D24721; Turner Bequest CCLIX 156).
Unlike the watercolour, however, this sketch includes more details of buildings. The eye is drawn down the avenue to the tower emphasised in darker pencil. The faint outlines cascading down the high ground on the left correspond with a similar shape in the watercolour, and are also likely to be buildings within the Tancarville castle complex. Turner indicates trees, such as on the left, with loose lines.
Finberg 1909, II, p.768.
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), pp.3 and 5.
Warrell 1999, p.270 nos.81 and 82.
Technical notes:
There is a thumbprint at lower right of the page. A small, sweeping stain, residue of some liquid, appears towards the upper left edge of the page.

Caroline South
May 2017

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