Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lillebonne; Quillebeuf; Tancarville, 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 x 117 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24034
Turner Bequest CCLIV 77 a

Catalogue entry

Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the small landscape studies that fill the bottom half of this page depict the architectural landmarks at Quillebeuf and Lillebonne which are located some three miles apart on opposite banks of the Seine.
The buildings clustered at the centre of the page belong to Quillebeuf on its long promontory on the south bank of the river. The skyline of the settlement is dominated by the Romanesque tower of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Port, the details of which Turner has attempted to capture three times.1 For watercolours of Quillebeuf worked up by Turner with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24576 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 11), D24668 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 103), and D24729 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 164). These culminated in the exhibition of a major oil piece on the subject, The Mouth of the Seine, Quille-Boeuf, (Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon)2 at the Royal Academy in 1833, and also in an engraving 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 impression T05598. Quillebeuf recurs on several pages in the sketchbook; for example, folio 77 recto (D24033; Turner Bequest CCLIV 77) and folio79 verso (D24038; Turner Bequest CCLIV 79a).
A note at the bottom of the page identifies the large structure in the drawing just above as the ruined medieval castle at Lillebonne. For comparisons, see examples of the watercolours on this subject that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time: Tate D24675 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 110), D24676 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 111), and D24807 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 242). 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);3 see Tate impressions T05599 and T05600.
The remains of a castle featured at the top of the page are those of Tancarville perched on its rocky platform overlooking the Seine several miles downstream from the other sites recorded on this page. For examples of the watercolours of Tancarville worked up by Turner with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24693 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 128) and D24695 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 130). 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 T05597, T05598

John Chu
July 2014

1
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.36.
2
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.184–5, no.353, pl.332.
3
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., vol.II, London 1908, pp.266–7 nos.460, 461.

Read full Catalogue entry

You might like