Joseph Mallord William Turner

Gisors, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 54

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with views around the town of Gisors, located some twenty-five miles east of the Seine as it flows past Les Andelys. The impressive remains of the eleventh-century castle occupy the left-hand side of the page; the tall donjon is included on its mound on the far left with and the Tour du Prisonnier and the Tour du Gouveneur sketched more faintly just to the right. On the right-hand side of the page is a view down one of the town’s streets of vernacular buildings. Turner noted down the phrase ‘man threshing corn’ towards the bottom left-hand corner.
Gisors and its ancient fortification were the subject of particular study in this sketchbook. For a list of associated sketches in the volume, see the entry for folio 41 verso (D23962; Turner Bequest CCLIV 41a). For a slightly later watercolour study of the town’s landmarks in the Turner Bequest, see Tate D20265 (Turner Bequest CCXXII F).

John Chu
July 2014

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