Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Cap de la Hève, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

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Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache and watercolour on paper
Support: 139 × 192 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIX 29

Catalogue entry

Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict the Cap de la Hève near Le Havre, Normandy. The high cliffs of this coastline are clearly marked by a bank of ‘reserved’ paper accented with white, yellow, and grey paint, while a sea-going vessel lists in full sail in the English Channel’s choppy waters. Sketches of this coastal landmark recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook of a similar date and presumably contributed to the conception of this and four further studies on blue paper: see Tate D24566 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 1), D24567 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 2), D24645 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 80), and D24820 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 255). For lists of the sketchbook drawings, see the entry for D23975 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 48). For the finished watercolour of the Cap which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24701 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 136). All this activity culminated in the engraved vignette in 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 T05593.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

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