Joseph Mallord William Turner

Harbour Buildings, Le Havre, Normandy

1832

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 174 × 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24042
Turner Bequest CCLIV 81 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled this page with drawings of the harbour infrastructure at Le Havre. From a quayside vantage point can be seen the sixteenth-century tower of François I guarding the entrance to the harbour. A more detailed sketch of these structures features in the Guernsey sketchbook which was probably taken on the same tour; see Tate D23539 (Turner Bequest CCLII 10). A mechanical device resembling a harbour crane has also been included towards the top of the page. For examples of the watercolours of Le Havre that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24647 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 82), D24698 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 133), and D24699 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 134). These culminated in two engravings in the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impressions T05594 and T04699. A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring Le Havre and Cap de la Hève is provided in the entry for folio 48 recto (D23975; Turner Bequest CCLIV 48).

John Chu
July 2014

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