Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dieppe Castle from the East


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 232 × 332 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLX 9

Technique and condition

Catalogue entry

Achieved without an underlying pencil drawing, this sketch depicts the western side of the castle at Dieppe as seen from the base of the chalk cliffs to the west of the town. The bulk of the medieval structure, with its high walls and battlements, shades into darker shades of ochre at the top of its towers.1 The tall arches of its large masonry bridge are picked out in dark pink. To impressive effect, the castle is brought closer to the sea then reality and the undulations of the cliffs exaggerated and reinforced by sweeping motions of the brush. The rows of curved brown objects to the right-hand side of the page may represent the decaying hulk of a shipwreck; their reflection in the seawater has been recreated with long thin strokes dragging blue gouache or very dry watercolour across page.
For reasons set out in the Technical notes in the sketchbook Introduction, this work appears inverted in relation to the volume as foliated.
For the castle’s history, see Claude Féron, Dieppe, Paris 1981, pp.22–3.
Blank; except for slight patches of grey watercolour near the binding transferred from folio 9 recto opposite (D35468; Turner Bequest CCCLX 10).

John Chu
February 2014

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