Joseph Mallord William Turner

Street Scene with Bridge, Harfleur

?1829

Not on display

Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 107 × 156 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D23700
Turner Bequest CCLIII 1 a

Catalogue entry

The page contains a sketch, drawn horizontally, depicting a street scene in the town of Harfleur (for further information, see under folio 1 recto, D23699). Finberg noted the sketch simply as ‘Street scene’;1 however, the location of Harfleur has been confirmed.2 The town is identifiable by the tower, on the left, of the Church of Saint-Martin (for further information on the church, see under folio 2 verso, D23702), and in addition by half-timbered houses such as the one to the left of the church. Turner picks out details of these buildings such as half-timbering supports and the perpendicular masonry spikes on the church spire.
At the centre of the view is a bridge, likely to be spanning the town’s River Lézarde or possibly a canal. The view is similar, albeit from a different angle, to that of Turner’s later watercolour, The Church of Saint-Martin at Harfleur, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24651, Turner Bequest CCLIX 86), although as art historian Ian Warrell states3 the main source for the watercolour is the sketch on folio 6 recto (D23709). Whilst the buildings depicted on the right of the sketch appear to be a continuation of the street scene, it is also possible that structure at top right is a separate sketch, of a water mill. A faint numeral ‘2’ appears to have been marked on the top right of the page.

Caroline South
May 2017

1
Finberg 1909, II, p.768.
2
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.3.
3
Warrell 1999, p.270, note 78.

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