Joseph Mallord William Turner

Château Gaillard, Normandy; Riverside Hills


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 47 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the small sketches on this page describe the ruins of Château Gaillard and riverside scenery, presumably taken nearby. The centre of the page features a study of the twelfth-century castle ruins with the Normandy landscape unfolding some one hundred metres below. Cursorily sketched at the bottom edge of the page is a series of angular forms, perhaps intended to describe some crenulated detail of the fortress, or a broken wall punctuated by windows. At the top of the page is included a row of steep, overlapping hills typical of the Normandy terrain adjacent to the Seine.
Of all the Seine valley sights, the landscape around 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 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.

John Chu
July 2014

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