Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Banks of the River Seine at Villequier


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 56

Catalogue entry

The page contains two sketches, both drawn horizontally, the lower with the page turned upside down, and both depicting coastal views. Finberg identified this page as ‘Banks of Seine’,1 and the location has been further specified as Villequier,2 a town on the river. The pointed tower and rectangular building at top right correspond to the same structures depicted from a different angle at top left on folio 55 verso opposite (D23807), showing Villequier.
Art historian Ian Warrell states3 that this page (and folio 57 recto; D23810) was used as the preliminary sketch for Turner’s later watercolour, A Steamer and Shallow Waters in the Seine, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24646; Turner Bequest CCLIX 81). The lower sketch depicts a sailboat on the Seine with the high cliffs of the coast behind. This sketch may be a continuation of the panorama of the one above.
Finberg 1909, II, p.770.
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), p.6.
Warrell 1999, p.271 no.88.
Technical notes:
There is brownish discolouration on this page, the edge of the staining apparent on the left, from damage likely caused by the 1928 Tate Gallery flood (see the technical notes to the sketchbook’s Introduction).

Caroline South
May 2017

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