Joseph Mallord William Turner

Graville Abbey

?1829

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 107 × 156 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D23710
Turner Bequest CCLIII 6 a

Catalogue entry

The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of Graville Abbey. Finberg identified the sketch as being of ‘Graville’1 and the location has been confirmed;2 from their shapes, the buildings can be clearly identified further as those of Graville Abbey, situated between the towns of Harfleur and Le Havre. It was constructed between the eleventh and thirteenth centuries, and is of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.3 Turner shows the abbey’s south-west side and records shapes of the abbey buildings and features such as windows; for example, he notes the arched windows in the façade of the building to the left. He depicts details of the buttressed walls, which also convey the abbey’s high location on a cliff.
Art historians Andrew Wilton4 and Ian Warrell5 state that this sketch and that on folio 7 recto opposite (D23711) were sources for Turner’s watercolour, Graville, c.1832 (currently untraced),6 engraved for Turner’s Annual Tour Wanderings by the Seine, 1834 (Tate impressions: T05595, T04700, T06224).
1
Finberg 1909, II, p.768.
2
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.
4
Wilton 1979, p.412 under no.954.
5
Warrell 1999, p.273 under entry for Graville.
6
Wilton 1979, p.412 no.954.
Technical notes:
The page is creased at the top right corner.

Caroline South
May 2017

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