Joseph Mallord William Turner

Quayside Buildings, ?Le Havre, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 83 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned horizontally, Turner filled much of this page with an expansive view of a harbour lined with tall buildings. On the right-hand side of the page particular attention has been paid to the shape of a large mooring bollard and to the recession in perspective of buildings crowded at irregular angles. Art historian Martin F. Krause suggested Le Havre for the location of the scene although the architecture is too generic to make a definitive identification. For comparisons, see the watercolours of Le Havre that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24647 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 82), D24698 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 133), and D24699 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 134). 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 T05594 and T04699. A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring Le Havre and Cap de la Hève is provided in the entry for folio 48 recto (D23975; Turner Bequest CCLIV 48).

John Chu
July 2014

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