Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Castle and Collegiate Church at Gisors, Normandy


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 142 × 191 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLXI 35

Catalogue entry

Turner rapidly filled this sheet of blue paper with a pencil description of the medieval architecture at Gisors, a town located some twenty-five miles east of the Seine as it flows past Les Andelys in Normandy. The tall donjon of the castle rises up towards the top left-hand corner of the sheet while the roofline of the Collegiate Church of Saint-Gervais and Saint-Protais can be glimpsed towards the right-hand edge. Sketches of Gisors recur frequently in the Seine and Paris sketchbook and appear to have contributed to the conception of this and one other pencil drawing on blue paper, as well as a colour study: see Tate D20265 (Turner Bequest CCXXII F) and D25009 (Turner Bequest CCLXI 37). For a list of the sketchbook drawings of this subject, see the entry for Tate D23962 (Turner Bequest CCLIV 41a). The existence of the present drawing, perhaps made in preparation for an unrealised colour study, suggests that Turner considered the subject for an illustration in Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France), although Gisors did not make it into this publication in the event. 1
W[illiam] G[eorge] Rawlinson, The Engraved Work of J.M.W. Turner, R.A., London 1908, vol.II, pp.264–76 nos.453–92.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is catalogued under Tate D40097.

John Chu
August 2014

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