Joseph Mallord William Turner

The Lieutenancy Building at Honfleur, Normandy


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Gouache, graphite and watercolour on paper
Support: 151 × 229 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCXCII 65

Catalogue entry

Turner worked gouache and watercolour paints onto this sheet of white paper to depict the busy quayside at Honfleur, Normandy. Against the grey and blue washes of the background scene, the picturesque structure of the port’s Lieutenancy Building stands out in brown and ochre. This is one of seven colour studies of Honfleur which Turner worked up around this date with a view to potential publication; these are listed under the entry for Tate D24580 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 15). Art historian Ian Warrell has identified a pencil sketch in the earlier Tancarville and Lillebonne sketchbook as the source for the present study: see Tate D23732 (Turner Bequest CCLIII 18).1 For the finished watercolour of the port which Turner worked up with a view to engraved reproduction around this time, see Tate D24700 (Turner Bequest CCLIX 135). All this activity culminated in an engraved illustration for the 1834 volume of Turner’s Annual Tour: Wanderings by the Loire and Seine (1833–5; later reissued as Rivers of France); see Tate T04707.
Ian Warrell, Turner on the Seine, exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery, London 1999, p.269.
Technical notes:
The verso of this sheet is attached to the mount.

John Chu
August 2014

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