Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dieppe from the East


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 170 x 238 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXX A

Display caption

Turner's 1826 French tour began at Dieppe towards the end of August. His first sketchbook (no.5) includes only a general view of the town of the kind he had already noted two years earlier. But it seems that he also made some sketches on loose sheets of paper. On these he again recorded the quaysides, which had formed the subject of his large oil painting of 1825 (Frick Collection, New York), and revisited the ruins of Chateau d'Arques, just a short distance outside the town. On his return to London he may have considered these sketches suitable preparatory material on which to draw for the set of engravings he proposed to call The English Channel, or La Manche.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

This loose colour sketch is one of several comparable works first documented by John Ruskin as a view of Dieppe harbour. As A.J. Finberg noted in his 1909 inventory of the Turner Bequest, Ruskin grouped this work together with twenty other ‘slight coloured sketches, chiefly from Dieppe’. 1 A note which was once appended to this parcel of works reveals that Ruskin held them in low regard, judging that they had been executed ‘in some careless or sickly state of mind’. 2 More recently, the sheet has been identified as a preparatory work towards one of several abortive attempts to put the material gathered on the 1826 tour of Northern France to use,3 most likely the failed The English Channel or La Manche print series.4
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.685.
David Blayney Brown, Sarah Skinner and Ian Warrell, Coasting: Turner and Bonington on the Shores of the Channel, exhibition catalogue, Nottingham Castle 2008, p.59.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, Tate Gallery, London 1997, pp.23–4, 159 reproduced as fig.153, 207 note 8, 217 no.30
Technical Notes:
The sheet was formerly attached to D20210 (Turner Bequest CCXX D) along the right-hand edge.1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Loire, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1997, p.217.
The sheet is attached to its mount.

John Chu
March 2016

Read full Catalogue entry

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