Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dieppe Castle and the Beach


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 232 × 332 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLX 18

Catalogue entry

Dieppe Castle is here sketched from the top of the chalk cliffs that lie along the beach west of the harbour. Both the watercolour layer and the underlying pencil drawing are unusually detailed in the context of the present sketchbook. The castle’s medieval towers, high sheer walls, and bridge approach are given mass and form by a yellow light raking in from the right-hand side.1 In the foreground, highly liquid mauve, dark pink, and ochre brush-work combines with sweeping passages of ‘reserved’ blank paper to give the effect of bright light on craggy terrain. Down at sea level, the straight lines of the beach meet on the horizon, leading the eye to the harbour-side lighthouse, the pinnacles of the Church of St-Jacques,2 and the vast white easterly cliffs.
For the castle’s history, see Claude Féron, Dieppe, Paris 1981, pp.22–3.
For a contemporary description of the church, see Jean Benoi^t De´sire´ Cochet, Les Églises de l’Arrondissement de Dieppe, Dieppe 1846, pp.57–127.
Blank; except for patches of watercolour transferred from folio 18 recto opposite (D35477; CCCLX 19). An upside-down ‘6’ is inscribed in faint red ink at the top left of the page.

John Chu
February 2014

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