Joseph Mallord William Turner

Sark, Channel Islands; Notre-Dame de Caudebec, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 114 × 187 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLII 69 a

Catalogue entry

With the sketchbook turned vertically, Turner filled the top half of this page with small sketches of distant coastal land-masses with shipping. The top scene is identified by Turner’s note towards the top left-hand corner as a view from or towards Sark in the Channel Islands.
Inverted in relation to the sketchbook as foliated, the dense study of a large Gothic portal at the centre of the page is identified by another note as that of Notre-Dame de Caudebec on the Normandy banks of the Seine. Of all the Seine valley sights, Caudebec and its church were the subject of particular study in this sketchbook. For a list of associated sketches, see the entry for folio 17 recto (D23550; Turner Bequest CCLII 17). For examples of the watercolours of Caudebec that Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D20235 (Turner Bequest CCXXI B), D24670 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 105), D24760 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 195), and D24818 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 253). These culminated 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 T05601.

John Chu
April 2014

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