Joseph Mallord William Turner

Coutances, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 230 × 363 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 59

Display caption

Turner is now known to have been in Cherbourg, at the tip of the Cotentin peninsula, on 9 September 1826. He stayed there at the Hotel de London, stating the purpose of his visit as 'pour depromener' (to go for walks), a suitably leisurely pursuit for someone who identified himself as a 'rentier' (someone of independent means). From Cherbourg he travelled on to Coutances and Granville, eventually arriving at Avranches, whence he made the excursion across to Mont St-Michel. Watercolours derived from his sketches are shown nearby.

Gallery label, August 2004

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Catalogue entry

This is one of several views of the medieval Normandy town of Coutances which Turner worked onto a batch of white ‘Ivy Mill’ watermarked paper on his 1826 tour of Northern France.1 A list of these is provided in the Introduction to this section.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.23.
Technical Notes:
This sketch occupies one quarter of a single sheet, folded in half lengthways and horizontally. The works on the other quadrants of the sheet are D34415 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV d 60), D34416 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV d 61) and D34417 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV d 62).

John Chu
March 2016

Read full Catalogue entry

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