Joseph Mallord William Turner

Ruins at Richborough; Shipping at Sea; ?Sketch with Figures


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 76 × 98 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Catalogue entry

At the top right, continued on folio 44 verso opposite (D35836; Turner Bequest CCCLXIII 43a) where shipping is shown, is a small sea study with ‘Fog coming on’. Along the bottom edge and again above are studies of the ruined Roman walls at Richborough Castle near Sandwich, also continued across D25836; for other drawings of the site see under folio 7 recto (D35769).
With the page turned vertically, at the outer edge Turner has carefully but somewhat awkwardly written initials and a surname apparently unfamiliar to him, in that he has written it twice, his first attempt having apparently struck him as unclear; the definitive form seems to be ‘G A Fauche’. From scattered references to what appears to be the same person, this may be Gaspard Adolphe Fauche, a Lieutenant serving in the de Meuron Regiment, originally a Swiss unit within the British Army during the Napoleonic Wars, when it was disbanded in Canada in 1816,1 when he was placed on the ‘Foreign Half-Pay’ list;2 he was married in London in 1825.3 By 1841 he was British Consul at Ostend, Belgium, when he retired after twenty-one years government service,4 and was living in central Paris in 1858.5
If Finberg’s reading of Fauche’s address (disrupted by crossing over the drawing) as ‘Edmund Street’6 is correct, it may be the street of that name which still survives in Camberwell, South London. A second line appears to have been written below at the same time, but little can be made of it. Turner’s connection to Fauche is unclear beyond the possibility of some business transaction, although in 1817 Evelina Danby (1800/1–1874), one of Turner’s two supposed daughters by Sarah Danby, married Joseph Dupois, who was in the consular service and held various foreign postings until 1847.7
The significance of the drawing or diagram at the upper left corner as foliated, with rounded forms within a grid, is unclear. Regarded with the page turned vertically it might be a memorandum of a picture with a figure or figures in a doorway or window, but it seems too slight for further speculation.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

See ‘Swiss De Meuron Regiment in North America, 1813–1815’ and ‘HM Regiment de Meuron’, The Canadian Corps of Voyageurs, accessed 4 September 2016,,
A List of the Officers of the Army and Royal Marines, London 1821, p.686.
‘Marriages’ in The Gentleman's Magazine, vol.137, June 1825, p.560.
[House of Commons], Accounts and Papers: 1852–53, London [?1853], vol.LVIII, section VI, p.27.
List of members in the Bulletin de la Société Impériale Zoologique d’Acclimation, vol.V, Paris 1858, p.23.
Finberg 1909, II, p.1176.
See Jean Golt, ‘Children of Turner’ in Evelyn Joll, Martin Butlin and Luke Herrmann (eds.), The Oxford Companion to J.M.W. Turner, Oxford 2001, p.45.

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop