Joseph Mallord William Turner

?Caudebec-en-Caux , Normandy

?1832

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D23548
Turner Bequest CCLII 16

Catalogue entry

Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the scene at the centre of this page features a building with a tall spire in a wide river valley. Both Caudebec-en-Caux and Harfleur on the Normandy banks of the Seine were dominated by a single Gothic spire such as this, although the edifice and surrounding terrain are too cursorily sketched too confirm a more definite location. To the left of the page, scratchy passages suggestive of trees frame the view. For a comparison, see the watercolours of Caudebec that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time: Tate D20235 (Turner Bequest CCXXI B), D24670 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 105), D24760 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 195), and D24818 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 253). For the watercolours of Harfleur developed for the same purpose, see Tate D24667 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 102), D24654 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 89), D24761 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 196). These watercolours culminated in two engravings in the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France);1 see Tate T05596 and T05601.

John Chu
April 2014

1
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., vol.II, London 1908, p.266–7 nos.457, 462.

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