Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lighthouses at Cap de la Hève, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLII 44

Catalogue entry

Most of this page is devoted to a sketch of the Cap de la Hève, Normandy. Towards the top right-hand corner Turner included the two lighthouses that guided ships to nearby Le Havre. The farther structure is little more than a cursory outline while the architectural ornamentation of the closer building is delineated in detail. Directly this passage is a record of the corner embellishments of the segmental pediments. For examples of the watercolours of la Hève which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24566 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 1), D24567 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 2), and D24645 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 80), D24701 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 136). The drawing is inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated.
In the bottom right quadrant of the page is a sketch of a narrow steeple, and also a view of a large building perched over an expanse of water which may represent the ruined castle at Tancarville in the wide embouchure of the Seine. For comparisons, see examples of Turner’s watercolour studies on this subject: Tate D24693 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 128) and D24695 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 130).

John Chu
April 2014

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