Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Church of Notre-Dame de Bon-Port, Quillebeuf


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite on paper
Support: 107 × 156 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCLIII 54 a

Catalogue entry

The page contains three sketches, all drawn horizontally, of church buildings. Finberg noted this page as ‘Abbey church’,1 but the locations of Tancarville and Quillebeuf have been put forward,2 and Quillebeuf confirmed.3 Tancarville and Quillebeuf are towns on opposite banks of the River Seine, crossable by boat. Art historian Ian Warrell has identified this sketch as of the Church of Notre‑Dame de Bon‑Port at Quillebeuf,4 and states5 that the sketch formed the preliminary sketch for Turner’s later watercolour, Boats Struggling against the Current at Quillebeuf, Normandy, c.1832 (Tate D24729; Turner Bequest CCLIX 164), in which the church is depicted in the background.
In these sketches, Turner records details of the Romanesque architecture of the church. Constructed between the tenth and eighteenth centuries, the Church of Notre‑Dame de Bon‑Port retains particularly fine Romanesque architecture from the twelfth century.6
Finberg 1909, II, p.770.
?Ian Warrell, ‘Turner on the Seine: Topographical Index’, c.1999, Prints and Drawings Room, Tate Britain (printout in copy of Warrell 1999), pp.4, 5.
Warrell 1999, pp.38, 136, 137 fig.105, p.265 no.10, p.270 no.85.
Warrell 1999, pp.38, 136, 137 fig.105, p.265 no.10.
Warrell 1999, p.270 no.85.
‘L'église Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Port à Quillebeuf-sur-Seine’,, accessed 29 March 2017,,0,0,195.html.
Technical notes:
There is a strip of pale bleached paper running horizontally across the bottom of the page, with a corresponding area on folio 55 recto opposite (D23806); this is likely to have resulted from where the sketchbook’s ribbon marker band (no longer present) had been left in the book and thereby prevented the discolouration which affected the rest of the page, leaving a lighter band.

Caroline South
May 2017

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