Joseph Mallord William Turner

Quillebeuf, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 140 × 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 11

Catalogue entry

Turner worked ink, gouache, and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict this view across of Quillebeuf, located on the Normandy banks of the Seine. The tower rising above the cluster of buildings at the centre of the scene belongs to the Romanesque Church of Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Port while the ruins of the medieval castle at Tancarville can be glimpsed on the far bank of the river.1 Pencil sketches of Quillebeuf recur several times in the Guernsey and Seine and Paris sketchbooks and presumably contributed to the conception of this colour study and also to Tate D24729 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 164) and D24738 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 173). For the sketchbook drawings, see the entries for Tate D23568 (Turner Bequest CCLII 26), D23569 (Turner Bequest CCLII 26a), D24033 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 77), and D24038 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 79a). All this activity 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.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.36.
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.
The centre of the sheet is inscribed in pencil with the note ‘96’.

John Chu
August 2014

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