Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Bridge at Vernon from the West, and (Upside Down) a View of the Seine near Vernon


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, pen and ink and graphite on paper
Support: 145 × 199 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLX 24

Catalogue entry

This sheet is one of a series of sketches associated with a tour of the Seine with a proposed dating of 1827–9. The studies are characterised by the use of pen and ink on blue paper; for more information see the Introduction to this section.
The subject of the two drawings on this sheet was once thought to be Calais, but Ian Warrell identified it as Vernon in Normandy in 1999.1 Vernon was also the subject of a drawing engraved as part of Turner’s Annual Tour in 1835 (Tate D24694; Turner Bequest CCLIX 129; for a Tate impression of the print see T06247). The Annual Tour composition, which is probably somewhat later, emphasises the bridge and appears to take inspiration from the upper drawing on this sheet; Turner, however, took some liberties with the topography when developing the finished design for his Annual Tour, adding a church on the right.2
A related study, also catalogued in this section (Tate D24859; Turner Bequest CCLX 23), sees the paper divided as in the present study, with two drawings included in a wide, almost panoramic, format, drawn on one sheet. This is taken a step further in a group of other sheets in this section, Tate D24894–D24896, D24899–D24900, D24904–D24905 (Turner Bequest CCLX 58–60, 63–4, 68–69), which are drawn on paper cut into a wide format. Turner did not often work in this way, and Warrell has drawn a connection between the panoramic format of these sheets and the wide-format landscape paintings Turner made to fit into the carved room at Petworth (see Tate N00559), as well as Thomas Girtin’s views of Paris, which were published in a similar wide format.3 For more information, see the Introduction to this section.
A further pen and ink drawing of Vernon, also dated to 1827–9, is in a private collection.4
Warrell 1999, pp.34, 202, 254 note 107, 262 note 163.
Warrell 1999, p.203.
Warrell 1999, p.34.
See Warrell 1999, p.267, cat.37.
Technical notes:
The drawing has been damaged by past light exposure, when displayed in a window mount.
The sheet has been laid down on a heavy paper and the verso could not be examined at the time of cataloguing.

Elizabeth Jacklin
October 2018

Read full Catalogue entry


You might like

In the shop