Joseph Mallord William Turner

Screen to the Portail des Libraires, Rouen Cathedral, and Rue de la Grosse-Horloge


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 10

Catalogue entry

The two sketches on this page were both utilised by Turner in 1832 for gouache and watercolour studies on blue paper connected to the Wanderings by the Seine volume of the Turner’s Annual Tour publication.1 The top sketch depicts the entrance to the Booksellers’ Court with the North Transept of Rouen Cathedral beyond it, called the Portail des Libraires. To the right of the double archway is the Fontaine Saint Romain (the fountain in the Rue Saint Romain) with ‘Drinking Wom[en]’. This was the basis for Tate D24714 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 149).
The sketch at the bottom of the page is a view east along the Rue de la Grosse Horloge towards the gateway with its clock and the towers of the cathedral. There is another sketch of the Tour de Grosse Horloge on folio 11 (Tate D24520; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 11). David Cox also painted a watercolour of this gateway in 1829 (Tate T00977). The sketch is the basis of Tate D24822 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 257).
Also on the page between the two views is a study of a sculpture of two angels from the inside of the gateway.
Turner drew the southern transept on folio 9 (Tate D24516; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 9). For a list of Turner’s sketches of Rouen in this book, see folio 1 (Tate D24500; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 1).

Thomas Ardill
February 2013

Warrell 1999, p.272 under cats.103 and 104.

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