Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lillebonne Castle


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 107 × 156 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIII 37

Catalogue entry

The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of a ruined castle amongst hills, with a church tower to its right. In a few lines, Turner conveys the shapes of the castle buildings and church, which renders them recognisable as Lillebonne castle and the Church of Notre-Dame, Lillebonne. (For information on the castle, see under folio 29 recto, D23754; and for the church, under folio 28 recto; D23752.) Finberg identified this sketch as ‘Ruined castle: Lillebonne’, relating it to the engraving mentioned below.1
Art historian Andrew Wilton states that the view depicted is the same (and that folio 29 recto, D23754, is from almost the same viewpoint) as that of Turner’s watercolour, Lillebonne, Looking towards the Seine, 1832 (Tate D24675; Turner Bequest CCLIX 110),2 which was engraved for Turner’s Annual Tour Wanderings by the Seine, 1834 (Tate impression: T04702). However, D23754 appears to use the more comparable viewpoint.
Art historian Ian Warrell3 points to this sketch (as well as folios 36 verso and folio 38 recto, D237769 and D23772, in addition to the preliminary sketch on folio 37 verso; D23771) being referred to by Turner for his watercolour, The Castle at Lillebonne, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24807; Turner Bequest CCLIX 242). Lillebonne is also noted as the location elsewhere.4
Finberg 1909, II, p.769.
Wilton 1979, p.413 no.958.
Warrell 1999, p.271 no.87.
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.
Technical notes:
There is a slight brownish stain at the left edge of the page, and above this a slight tear in the paper.

Caroline South
May 2017

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