Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rouen Cathedral from the Grand Cours, Faubourg St-Sever; and Entrance to the Church of St Maclou, Rouen


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 123 × 118 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLVIII 17

Catalogue entry

At the top of the page is Turner’s only sketch of Rouen’s Church of St Maclou, apart from a distant view of its spire (Tate D24509; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 5a). Turner would have made this faint impression of its west façade and porch with a figure at the right in Norman costume as he turned along the southern side of the cathedral to make sketches from that side (see folio 9; Tate D24516; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 9).1
The second sketch is a view of the spires of Rouen Cathedral from the Grand Cours in the Faubourg St-Sever. Ian Warrell has identified this sketch as the basis for the unfinished oil painting, Rouen: A View from the Left Bank in the Faubourg St-Sever, ?1827–8 (Tate N03384),2 and of a gouache study: Tate D24655 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 90).3 The view is also connected to Turner’s Rouen, Looking Downstream, gouache and watercolour (Tate D24673; Turner Bequest CCLIX 108) for Turner’s Annual Tour: Wandering by the Seine, 1834 (Tate T05605).4 Warrell has noted the Watteau-like appearance of this composition and connected it to Turner’s interest in the French artist’s work which he saw in the Louvre when he visited Paris during this tour.5

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

Warrell 1999, pp.176, 261 note 118.
Identified by MacColl as ‘Possible a Study for Windsor Castle’; D.S. MacColl, National Gallery, Millbank: Catalogue; Turner Collection,1920, p.44. Bulin and Joll linked it with a series of oil sketches thought to have been made in Italy in 1828–9; Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, p.179 no.315 as A Park, 1828. Ian Warrell made the new identification in Warrell 1999, pp.22, p.268 under no.56.
Warrell 1999, p.272 under no.102.
Ibid, pp.174, 261 note 106, p.275 under no.130.
Ibid. p.22.

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