Joseph Mallord William Turner

Rouen: The Bridge of Boats, the New Stone Bridge and the Cathedral

?1827–9

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Gouache and pen and ink on paper
Dimensions
Support: 135 × 190 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D24869
Turner Bequest CCLX 33

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 industrial city of Rouen on the banks of the Seine attracted Turner as a subject on a number of occasions. He certainly visited the city in 1821, 1826, 1829 and 1832, and Ian Warrell has argued that this sheet was made during an additional visit sometime between 1827 and 1829, during which the blue paper studies in this section were made. A key point supporting the c1827–1829 dating of the studies is the presence of Rouen’s then newly constructed stone bridge, the Pont d’Angoulème, (the additional ‘bridge of boats’ is shown in the foreground, with the new stone bridge beyond).1 This bridge crossed the Seine via the Lacroix Island. While the construction appears well advanced in Turner’s slightly earlier views within the 1826 Rouen sketchbook (for the sketchbook see Tate D24077–D24106; Turner Bequest CCLV), it is apparently complete in the present study and in the background of Tate D40492 (no Turner Bequest number), a sheet thought to date from the same visit. The new bridge also formed part of some later views of the Seine at Rouen, including a gouache and watercolour study of c.1832 made for the print series Turner’s Annual Tour (Tate D24672; CCLIX 107); this composition likely drew on the present study. For an impression of the print, see Tate T06234.
While Turner’s focus in the present sheet is on the river and Rouen’s bridges, Rouen Cathedral can also be seen in the background, on the left. For a list of other studies of Rouen catalogued within this section, see the entry for Tate D24839 (Turner Bequest CCLX 3).
1
Warrell 1999, p.166.
Verso:
The sheet has been laid down on heavy paper and the verso could not be examined at the time of cataloguing.

Elizabeth Jacklin
October 2018

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