Joseph Mallord William Turner

Louviers: Interior of the Church of Notre-Dame, from the North Aisle, Looking South across the Nave


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Pen and ink, graphite and gouache on paper
Support: 142 × 190 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLX 16

Catalogue entry

This sheet is one of a series of sketches associated with a tour of the Seine with a proposed dating of 1827–9. The studies are characterised by the use of pen and ink on blue paper; for more information see the Introduction to this section.
The main attraction for artists visiting the church of Notre-Dame in Louviers, Normandy, was the south façade and porch, known as a key example of late Gothic Flamboyant architecture: for more information and a depiction of the south façade see Tate D24840 (Turner Bequest CCLX 4). As Ian Warrell has commented, Turner did not confine himself to the church’s exterior, also taking time to sketch the interior of the church.1 The present study appears to have been made from the north aisle during a service,2 and provides a commentary on the religious activity of the Catholic congregation from the perspective of an interested onlooker. Figures praying in a variety of poses, a statue of the Virgin and architectural elements such as the pointed Gothic arches are among the details depicted.
For another possible view of the interior of the church of Notre-Dame in Louviers see Tate D24851 (Turner Bequest CCLX 15). For further views of the church catalogued within this section see Tate D24902, D24909, D24950, D24962 and D24967 (Turner Bequest CCLX 66, 73, 114, 126, 131).
Warrell 1999, p.194.
Warrell 1999, p.194.
This sheet has been laid down on heavy paper and the verso could not be checked at the time of cataloguing.

Elizabeth Jacklin
October 2018

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