Joseph Mallord William Turner

Steam Shipping and Coastal Terrain; ?Cap de le Hève, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 174 × 117 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIV 80 a

Catalogue entry

Turner filled the central strip of this page with a long coastal vista with shipping in the foreground, including a steamboat emitting smoke from its chimney. Such modern conveyances were to be a recurrent feature of the series of engraved Seine views with which Turner was involved at that time. See the 1834 and 1835 volumes of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); especially Tate impressions T04699, T05601, T05603, T05609, T05625.
The distant landmass ending in an abrupt cliff towards the left-hand side of the page presumably represents Cap de le Hève on the edge of the Seine’s wide embouchure which was the subject of extensive study in this volume. That being the case, the two tall structures indicated by small dashes on the brow of this eminence must represent the two cape lighthouses. A list of pages in the sketchbook featuring Le Havre and Cap de la Hève is provided in the entry for folio 48 recto (D23975; Turner Bequest CCLIV 48).

John Chu
July 2014

Read full Catalogue entry


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