Joseph Mallord William Turner

Dieppe Harbour

c.1826

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite and watercolour on paper
Dimensions
Support: 169 x 237 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D20209
Turner Bequest CCXX C

Catalogue entry

This bustling quay-side 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 Finberg only tentatively followed Ruskin firmly identifying the subject as Dieppe, although comparisons with other works in the Turner Bequest carried out by art historian Alice Rylance-Watson confirm this location; see entry for Tate D19987 (Turner Bequest CCXVI 222a).
1
A.J. Finberg, A Complete Inventory of the Drawings of the Turner Bequest, London 1909, vol.II, p.685.
2
Ibid.
3
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp.28; 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.
Verso:
Inscribed in pencil with the note ‘D20209’ at the centre of the bottom edge of the page.

John Chu
March 2016

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