Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Banks of the Seine near Jumièges, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 140 × 193 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 218

Catalogue entry

Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict the hilly banks of the Seine near Jumièges, Normandy. Small sailing vessels occupy the foreground while steep slopes rise up on the opposite shore. Particular attention has been paid to the tonal contrast between the light buildings on the riverbank and the Seine’s dark waters. Sketches of this stretch of the Seine recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook and presumably contributed to the conception of this colour study. For lists of these sketchbook drawings, see the entry for Tate D24021 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 71). For the finished watercolour of the ruined abbey at Jumièges which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24696 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 131). All this activity culminated in an illustration for 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 T05602.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2012

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