Joseph Mallord William Turner

At Rouen

?1827–9

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache, pen and ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 145 × 191 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24839
Turner Bequest CCLX 3

Catalogue entry

This sheet is one of a series of sketches associated with a tour of the Seine with a proposed dating of 1827–9. The studies are characterised by the use of pen and ink on blue paper; for more information see the Introduction to this section.
Of all the destinations Turner sketched along the River Seine, the industrial and architecturally rich city of Rouen stands out as a place he returned to numerous times. He certainly visited the city in 1821, 1826, 1829 and 1832, and Ian Warrell has argued that the group of pen and ink sketches this sheet is part of were made during an additional visit sometime between 1827 and 1829, partly due to the presence of a newly constructed stone bridge (for more information, see the entry for Tate D24869; Turner Bequest CCLX 33).1
The background of this study is dominated by the spire of the cathedral. While the cathedral took on a more prominent role in a number of later gouache studies of c.1832 (see, for example, Tate D24819; Turner Bequest CCLIX 254), within the present ink and gouache study Turner has chosen to view the cathedral from further away, framing it as part of the backdrop of the busy city life implied by the foreground figures.
Various other studies of Rouen are also catalogued within this section (Tate D24869, D24891, D24900, D24905, D24950, D40492; Turner Bequest CCLX 33, 55, 64, 69, 114).
1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, London 1999, p.166.
Verso:
Blank, save for inscriptions: inscribed in pencil ‘40a’ centre of sheet; stamped in black with the Turner Bequest monogram and ‘CCLX–3’ lower right; inscribed in pencil ‘cclx–3’ bottom right.

Elizabeth Jacklin
October 2018

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