Joseph Mallord William Turner

Groups of Fishermen and Fishwives at Dieppe


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 113 × 189 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXI 32

Catalogue entry

This page of harbour scenes is assumed to have been made at Dieppe as Turner paid particular attention when he arrived at the town to the activity of people and boats at the busy harbour (for references to more of his sketches of the harbour see Tate D24501; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 1a).1 There are two sketches of the quayside – top left and top right – in which people are shown unloading cargo boats. The architecture and cliffs in the background are reminiscent of Turner’s other sketches of Dieppe. Across the bottom half of the page is a rapidly executed landscape sketch. The cupola of a building at the far left is recognisable as the Church of St Jacques in Dieppe (see D24501). Turner’s main interest, however, is in the sky, and he has noted down the ‘Red Clouds’ at the centre of the image and ‘w Blue’ at the right. Above the sketch at the right is a second study of the sky, this time inscribed ‘V[ery] Blue Cloud with yellow Gold’, and a sketch of a cloud labelled ‘Gold’ with rays of sunlight bursting through it.

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

Finberg 1909, II, p.645, CCXI 32; Warrell 1999, p.25.

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