This is one of a batch of ink sketches of Calais on blue paper which can be dated on stylistic grounds to the later 1820s. The tower of Notre-Dame de Calais rises above the surrounding buildings at the centre of the composition. The exact occasion of these studies is unknown although Turner specialist Ian Warrell has suggested a link to the return leg of the artist’s tour of Northern France in the autumn of 1826. 1 See the Introduction to this section for a list of these works.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, pp. 32, 253 note 86, 254 note 99.
The cream card mount, which is fixed to the verso of this sheet, is inscribed in pencil with these notes on the recto along the bottom edge: ‘cclx.70’, ‘calais.’, ‘oxford 115 – 179.’, and ‘144’. On the verso along the bottom edge is inscribed in pencil ‘D.24960’ and ‘cclx.70’.
The verso of the sheet is fixed to its mount.