Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of blue paper to depict a view of the ruined castle at Lillebonne, Normandy rising above its small valley close to the Seine. The narrow spire of the Church of Notre-Dame can be glimpsed just to the right of the fortifications. For the finished watercolours on this subject which Turner worked up for engraved reproduction around this time; see Tate D24675 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 110) and D24676 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 111). All this activity culminated in three engravings of the subject 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 impressions T05599 and T05600.
The sheet is inscribed with a pencil note reading ‘CCLIX 242’ towards bottom right-hand corner.