Joseph Mallord William Turner

Jumièges Abbey, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 138 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 12

Catalogue entry

Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints over this ink drawing to depict the medieval abbey at Jumièges, Normandy. In the foreground, a gap in the trees leads the eye to the edifice’s high, ruined walls. A flick of white paint in the sky, meanwhile, suggests a crescent moon hanging over a nocturnal scene. Sketches of this riverside landmark recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook of a similar date and appear to have contributed to the conception of this colour study. For a list of these sketchbook drawings, see the entry for Tate D24021 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 71). For the finished watercolour of the abbey which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24696 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 131). All this activity culminated in an engraved illustration for the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate impression T05602.
The bottom centre of the sheet is inscribed in pencil with a note reading ‘111’.

John Chu
August 2014

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