Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Château de Dieppe and the Porte des Tourelles


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 86 × 111 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCLXI 31

Catalogue entry

Looking from the seashore, the Château de Dieppe is seen to the south-west with the twin turrets of the Porte des Tourelles (otherwise the Porte du Port d’Ouest, still standing flanked by modern buildings on what is now the boulevard de Verdun) below to the left. The drawing continues a short way onto folio 30 verso opposite (D35540). Compare the 1836 engraving Dieppe after Clarkson Frederick Stanfield (1793–1867) from his Coastal Scenery (Tate impressions: T05677–T05678). As Robert Upstone has noted, Turner depicted the same view in watercolour in the contemporary Dieppe sketchbook (Tate D35465; Turner Bequest CCCLX 7): ‘Even at this late stage of his career Turner continued his traditional practice of using small books such as this in tandem with larger roll sketchbooks.’1
Turner extended the view of the chalk cliffs below the castle to the east by rather awkwardly rolling the outer edge of this page round and continuing from the middle of the verso and across onto folio 32 recto (D35542). Other views of the castle and town are on folios 32 verso–33 recto, 37 verso, 39 verso, 46 recto, 47 recto, 60 recto, 62 verso–63 recto, 70 recto, 71 recto and 80 recto (D35544–D35545, D35552, D35555, D35567, D35569, D35593, D35598, D35599, D35611, D35613, D35628). The nearby Château d’Arques-la-Bataille is shown on folios 29 verso–30 recto (D35538–D35539).
The artist had first visited the port in 1821, making drawings in the Paris, Seine and Dieppe sketchbook (Tate D18557, D18574; Turner Bequest CCXI 21, 32), then in 1824, using the Dieppe, Rouen and Paris sketchbook (Tate D24506, D24508, D24510, D24530, D24547, D24560; Turner Bequest CCLVIII 4, 5, 6, 16, 25, 32) and the Rivers Meuse and Moselle sketchbook (Tate D20011, D20012; Turner Bequest CCXVI 234a, 235). The major painting Harbour of Dieppe (Changement de Domicile) was exhibited in 1825 (Frick Collection, New York).2 See also watercolour studies from the later 1820s including Tate D20207–D20210 (Turner Bequest CCXX A, B, C, D). Finally, most of the watercolour studies in the Dieppe sketchbook (Tate; Turner Bequest CCCLX), used on the same tour as the present book, depict the town and its surroundings, which would become a favourite haunt for French and English artists over the next century.3
Upstone 1993, p.58.
Martin Butlin and Evelyn Joll, The Paintings of J.M.W. Turner, revised ed., New Haven and London 1984, pp.140–1 no.231, pl.234 (colour).
See John Willett and others, The Dieppe Connection: The Town and its Artists from Turner to Braque, exhibition catalogue, Brighton Museum and Art Gallery 1992.

Matthew Imms
September 2016

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