Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the drawing at the top of this page depicts the large Gothic and Renaissance church of Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais at Gisors, located some twenty-five miles east of the Seine as it flows past Les Andelys. Depicted from a southerly vantage, the sixteenth-century tower can be seen rising above the nave to the right.
With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner also included a view taken in the terrain west of Gisors on the bottom half of this page. In the foreground can be seen the twelfth-century stone cross at Neaufles-Saint-Martin (a lucky talisman in local folklore) and beyond that, the remnants of the Tour de la Reine Blanche.1
Gisors and its ancient architecture were the subject of particular study in this sketchbook. For a list of associated sketches in the volume, see the entry for folio 41 verso (D23962; Turner Bequest CCLIV 41a). For a slightly later watercolour study of the town’s landmarks in the Turner Bequest, see Tate D20265 (Turner Bequest CCXXII F).
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.52.