With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with descriptions of the ruins of Château Gaillard perched on its steep eminence some one hundred metres above the Seine. A sketch of the twelfth-century castle keep with its encircling wall occupies the bottom left-hand quadrant of the page. Along the top of the page remnants of the outer bailey and its ruined towers punctuate the surrounding terrain of high ridges.
Of all the Seine valley sights, Château Gaillard and the local villages of Les Andelys were the subject of particular study in this sketchbook. For a list of associated sketches in the volume, see the entry for folio 51 verso (D23982; Turner Bequest CCLIV 51a). For the watercolours of this landmark in the Turner Bequest that the artist worked up with a view to engraved reproduction, see Tate D24678 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 113) and D24692 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 127). These culminated in two engravings in the 1835 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impressions T04708 and T04709.