Joseph Mallord William Turner

Saint-Adresse from a Pier at Le Havre


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 107 × 156 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIII 22 a

Catalogue entry

The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, of coastline viewed from a jetty. Finberg noted it simply as ‘Roadway beside river’,1but the location has been identified as Le Havre.2 Art historian Ian Warrell states3 that Turner depicted the same scene in his 1832 Guernsey sketchbook (Tate D23558; Turner Bequest CCLII 21) and that these scenes show the distant headland of Saint-Adresse as seen from the port of Le Havre, specifically from the vantage point of a short pier on the quayside close to the Tower of François I.
In a few lines, Turner conveys the different planes of the view, placing the viewer on the jetty and evoking the sense of surrounding distance ahead. The structure at the centre of the sketch, at the end of the pier, appears to be a light-tower. Figures sit in front of it to the left. The wavy descending line at left in the water is likely to indicate the reflection of an afternoon sun in the sky above.
Finberg 1909, II, p.769.
Warrell 1999, pp.97, 259 note 10; ?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.
Warrell 1999, pp.97, 259 note 10.
Technical notes:
There is a brown thumbprint on the lower left of the page.

Caroline South
May 2017

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